Nikki, has been volunteering for our ‘Toys’n’Tins’ appeal in Norfolk for the past 15 years. She also donates a lot of food items to her local Salvation Army food bank throughout the year.
“I’ve been collecting pasta for at least 10 or 11 years,” says Nikki, “I usually get about 10 packets of spaghetti every time or pasta, and I’ve been buying tea as well. I always aim to collect 1,000 but I usually get more than 500.
Nikki has a network of friends and family, who she has roped into helping; “My mum collects some; she collects one packet a week. My friend collects too. He’s got a learning disability, and he collects two packets every week and he’s done that for the last three years. He came up one year to have a look around, he’s got brilliant eye sight so he was checking the use-by dates on cans and he likes to pack a few parcels as well."
Nikki has now become known as the liaison for The Salvation Army in her village, so people will bring things around to her house if they think they might be useful.
“I was just given 300 brand new hats all knitted and lined and everything, so they’re going to children abroad,”
Nikki recalls, “It’s not just about where everything’s going to, it’s the community of the people who do it too. I have a friend who I supported out of pretty serious domestic violence. She came to The Salvation Army with nothing and they supported her and she got a box. And she got herself back on her feet, her and her baby daughter, and she came and volunteered for a couple of years to give something back.
"I can’t imagine not ever doing it (volunteering) now,” Nikki says, “I’m humbled and very privileged to do it. You see lots of people needing it and you see how it helps. I always say to people, if you’re travelling and you get into trouble, find a Salvation Army, they’ll help you out.”