You may have read our previous blog post (An inside view of ReTweed) where the staff at ReTweed shared what it’s really like to work here. A lot was said about the satisfaction we all get from working with the women and now it’s time to hear their side of the story!

This time we’ve asked the women who volunteer with us “What’s it really like at ReTweed?” As the questions were answered anonymously to ensure the answers were an honest reflection, they’ve been colour coded here so you can match up which answers come from the same person if you wish.

Our volunteers have made a range of Doggie Bow Ties.

How would you describe volunteering at ReTweed in 3 words?

Friendly, Informative, Rewarding

Fun, Support, Learning

I Love It!

Supportive, Friendly, Welcoming

Friendly, Fun, Rewarding

Enjoyable, Fun, Rewarding

Freedom, Connecting, Learning

Our volunteers make a range of Scottie Dogs.

What’s the best bit about volunteering at ReTweed?

Improving my own skills and being able to pass that on to others.

The friendships and learning new skills.

Making and meeting new friends.

Meeting new people in a safe supportive place, where everyone is in a similar position – it’s so, so, so, supportive and learning a new skill.

Meeting different people and trying different sewing skills.

Meeting lots of different personalities and learning about the people involved.

Being made welcome and being able to start helping and working with others.

Our volunteers make a range of cushions which can be customised to your choice of colours, designs and closings.

What’s the challenge you enjoy the most about volunteering at ReTweed?

I enjoy learning and improving my own skills

Making things for the first time.

Being able to make something wonderful from a scrap piece of fabric.

Finishing an item in a day and seeing it finished. The process of construction is fab to see it all pull together is great.

Making an item and finishing it the same day.

Creating products that meet the standards required for customers.

Learning about others abilities and techniques as well as learning things for myself

Our Volunteers can make a range of products from the ‘Spirit of Berwickshire’ tartan which has been designed exclusively for ReTweed.

How has your volunteering role at ReTweed helped you to develop or gain additional skills?

By learning from others, I’ve been able to greatly improve and widen my creative ideas and try out various pieces that I would not have previously considered.

It gets me out the house more and I’ve learned about different techniques.

I have learnt a new wonderful skill and made wonderful new friends.

Gaining confidence and giving me a safe space just to be myself and getting time to learn new skills.

Confidence, all lovely ladies and made very welcome.

Volunteering has helped me regain my confidence in my abilities. It has helped me get back into the swing of working and I have learnt to sew and create items I never thought I could.

It has helped my social skills, my sewing ability and learning about the community.

Our volunteers are innovative in their upcycling e.g. these gorgeous bracelets made from donated buttons.

Is there anything that could improve your experience of volunteering at ReTweed even further?

For me, I would like the resources to be more organised but I do realise that it’s a ‘space’ problem, so when we have the space upstairs and we are re-configured, I’m sure we will be able to be more organised.

Nothing I love it here.

Nothing, I love it all.

More time in the day.

Happy with the way it runs, it’s the only thing that makes me happy.

Development of different roles within the group.

Just a bigger space so we could do more.

 

In conclusion …

We love this summary of ReTweed which we’ve taken from a scrapbook that was made for us by a group of women who have previously been involved with ReTweed and feel this captures the essence of what many of the women here tell us they experience.

“ReTweed is a magic thread, pulling you out of the darkness, embroidering your life with new meaning and invisibly connecting you to the best part of yourself and to wonderful new friends….”

 

So there you have it! Now you’ve heard the other side of what it’s really like at ReTweed.

 

P.S. Our volunteer sessions run on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s and are an opportunity for graduates of our 12-week course to continue sewing and developing their skills by supporting, and learning from, each other. The fantastic products they make are available to buy from our Eyemouth workshop and help to fund the award-winning work that ReTweed does.

As everything is handmade rather than mass-produced our volunteers are also very happy to take commissions for similar products with different designs or perhaps made in your favourite colours etc. as special commissions. Just pop into the workshop or get in touch with us to let us know what you would like us to make for you.

 

This blog post was written by Rachel Parker – ReTweed Marketing and Communications Officer