Volunteer award for Chris

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Ballymena man Chris Sherwin man has received a special volunteer award from Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland after contributing more than 500 volunteer hours in Habitat ReStore in just six months.

Chris (21) started volunteering in the low cost DIY store in Bridge Park last November. He was originally on a 240 hour placement though the Youth Employment Scheme which is supported by the Department for Communities.

Since the placement ended, Chris has contributed a further 300 hours to the store.

In recognition of this significant commitment, Chris received the ‘Heart for Habitat’ award at Habitat NI’s recent annual Volunteer Celebration and Commissioning.

Habitat ReStore is Habitat NI’s social enterprise which enables local people to improve their homes at low-cost and provides volunteer opportunities. It also diverts tons of reusable waste from landfill and raises vital funds to build hope and homes. The store stocks donated new and used building and home materials, including kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing supplies, paint and much more.

“I really enjoy helping out at Habitat ReStore. I’ve made some great friends and have learned lots too. I am much more confident now and I know that skills that I’ve gained will help me as I search for work,” said Chris.

Volunteers of all backgrounds and abilities help out in the store for at least one shift of four hours every week. Tasks vary from customer service and administration to fixing donated items and helping with collections in the lorry.

“We so much appreciate Chris’ commitment to Habitat ReStore. He is an integral part of our team and it has been great to watch him grow in skills and confidence during his time with us,” said Isobel Kerr, Manager of Habitat ReStore, Ballymena.

“Around 30 volunteers from the local community support our work in ReStore every week. Their passion and dedication are vital to the store’s success. It is very special to see people from different backgrounds and abilities working together; everyone has something to contribute and gain in ReStore,” Isobel said.

Habitat ReStore is located at Bridge Park, Larne Link Road, Ballymena (beside Dunelm) and is open Wednesday – Saturday, 9am-5pm. Contact the store to learn more about volunteering opportunities: 028 25 653 243.