A VOLUNTEER in Melksham is inviting people to make a New Year’s Resolution to support the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Pauline Centa has been working in the town’s Barnardo’s store for more than a year, donating an afternoon each week.

Now she is sharing her experience in the hope that it will encourage people to make a New Year’s Resolution to offer their time to the charity.

Pauline, 73, decided to volunteer after retiring from a long career as a qualified nurse and says helping to support vulnerable children is “immensely satisfying”.

She added: “My father often contributed to Barnardo’s so I was always aware of the importance of supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children.“I hadn’t volunteered in a charity shop before but everyone was so friendly and welcoming. It’s managed in a professional way but there’s a very relaxed atmosphere.

“Everyone brings their own skills and experience, and there’s a nice mix of ages and backgrounds too. We all get on well together and it’s good fun.”

Pauline has donated around 300 hours since joining the charity, helping with sorting and pricing the stock, steaming clothes and serving customers.

She also attended a Barnardo’s conference to learn more about its modern work and to listen to young people talking about how the charity has given them a better future.

Pauline said: “It’s always good to understand where the money goes and the impact our fundraising is having on so many young lives. Their stories have stayed with me and inspired me.

“Volunteering is immensely satisfying - I really feel that I’m making a difference.”

The Barnardo’s store, in Verbena Court behind the Water Meadow restaurant, is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm and on Sunday from 10am-4pm.

The team always welcome donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, CDs, DVDs, bric-a-brac and accessories, as well as offers of help from potential volunteers.

In Wiltshire, Barnardo’s also has stores in Swindon, Chippenham, Devizes, Westbury, Warminster, Amesbury and Salisbury.

Visit www.barnbardos.org.uk/shop or call 01225 436806 to volunteer.