On Saturday 15th November 2014 I volunteered in Asda as a bag packer, helping to raise funds for Wrexham carers service. Here’s how it went:
I had arranged to be at ASDA for 10am, the husband was working so my mother in law kindly said she would have my boys for me. Everything was set and I was ready to go until I got a call saying she was lost and would be another 20 minutes. Now I wouldn’t normally mind – after all I wasn’t getting paid, but I had ALL the collection buckets and passes in the boot of my car, no one would be able to start until I arrived. Once again it felt like this mission was doomed, lets face it I have already had to postpone climb a mountain and give blood! Anyway my mother in law arrived at 9:20, smoking, flapping and apologising and I literally threw the children in her direction, barked a couple of instructions about the location of nappies and spare keys and hit the motorway at a silly speed.
I arrived late! Luckily no one noticed (or at least didn’t comment) and I managed to get everything inside with a little help from fellow volunteers. Once we arrived we were given the rules and regulations of bag packing. I seriously underestimated how intense this was going to be and was trying my best to remember all the rules-
don’t leave the bucket unattended at any times
if a customer declines the offer of bag packing step away from the till (preferably without bumping straight into the trolley of another customer).
and several more.
We picked our tills and off we went, all giggling nervously as we approached complete strangers and asked if we could fondle their perishables! I must admit it wasn’t going that well at first, everyone wanted to do their own packing – I think I must have a clumsy face that screams “I will drop your eggs and squash your bread”. Then the checkout lady started to talk to me, I wasn’t sure if this was allowed and was getting a little nervous as I tried to recall the rules, but she was absolutely lovely and totally understood the cause we were raising money for. Then everything changed, the checkout lady was asking the customers on my behalf, telling them all about what we were doing and how lovely and good at packing I was (ha). She was like the best warm up act ever. Once it got to me asking them they were more than happy to let me balance their beans on top of their eggs AND make a donation for my efforts. I think this is the point I must of got a bit too confident with my packing abilities as I got a little telling off from one lady who said I had packed far too many bottles of beer in one carry a bag – whoops. After this it went a little quiet again and I was able to nip off to take some pictures of the happy bag packers.
At 12 the second lot of volunteers turned up allowing us to leave them to it (after giving them the rules of course). I had a fabulous time meeting new people and helping (or hindering) with peoples packing, it was also fun seeing what people were buying lol, and I would definitely do it again.
The aim of the bag packing was of course to raise funds for Wrexham carers service, however what was more important on the day was our ability to raise awareness of what help is available in Wrexham for carers, and being able to speak directly to some carers who had never heard of us. Hopefully some of those people will now be able to access the help they need.
I’m not sure how much money we raised for Wrexham carers service but once I have a figure I will update you all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that helped with the bag packing and all the customers who donated money, and of course to the ASDA staff for allowing us to take over their till area.