Volunteer Spotlight: Stuart

Fri 24/Feb/23

Volunteer Spotlight: Stuart


In this blog we talk to Stuart, Sutton Libraries Customer Service Assistant and soon to be Project Officer for The Reading Retreat. He shares how volunteering with Sutton Council's Cultural Services has helped him into full time employment.




For those that don’t know, tell us a bit about yourself.


Hi! My name is Stuart, and I currently work as a customer service assistant within Sutton libraries. I really like my job, every day is different, and there's a huge variety in the skill-sets we get to use. I have a background in customer service, however this is definitely my favourite role to work in so far, as you are at the heart of the community and get a real sense that you’re making a difference.


For someone who works in a library, it’s probably surprising how few books I actually read, although It is rare for me to go a day without listening to an audiobook. Like a lot of people my age I spend a good amount of my free time browsing the internet and playing video games, but has come in useful when helping others to access computers within the libraries.         



Why did you apply to volunteer with the Cultural Services team?


When I first applied to volunteer I had been unemployed for a while, and was really just looking for a way to spend some time productively, and I guess have something new to put on a CV. I have always been interested in books, and having done a degree in English, I thought libraries would be a great place to give back; especially as they had been so helpful to me in the past. Volunteering made me feel a lot more connected to the community, and gave me a real sense of belonging at a time when I didn't particularly have that otherwise.



What are you looking forward to during your time in your new role?


I'm about to move into a new role within Sutton’s Council's Cultural Services (Project Officer for The Reading Retreat), and I’m really excited about the opportunities it will give me to both connect with the community and to further my own personal development. The role will actually involve coordinating with volunteers, so I think it will be very interesting to see how I can use my previous experience in the role.



Why should people consider volunteering?


I think it’s just a great way to use your free time. Volunteering gave me a space to give back to my community, to develop skills, and to meet new, like minded people.  It was an amazingly rewarding experience, and is at least somewhat responsible for the position I've now found myself in.  If you want to help others, and to help your community, I really can't think of an easier way to do so.



If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be and why?


It’s hard to think of anyone actually writing a biography about me. Barring any unscrupulous events I hesitate to disclose here, I think I’ve lived a fairly normal life up until now. “A series of ordinary events” does have a certain ring to it.




Find out more about volunteering with Sutton Council's Cultural Services.