Volunteer profile: meet Jan and John

Secondhand Bookshop Volunteers, Felbrigg

Jan and John - Secondhand Bookshop Volunteers

Jan and John are two of our bookshop volunteers that support our secondhand bookshop by sorting through donations and organising books to go out onto the shelves. Supported by two other volunteers, Genny and William, they make up our small book sorting team and are part of our wider bookshop volunteers that help run our secondhand bookshop.

Secondhand Bookshop Volunteers Jan and John

Why did you become a volunteer at Felbrigg Hall?

Jan – I had some time on my hands and wanted to volunteer. I had a friend who was a volunteer at Blickling and as a avid read they said why not volunteer in the bookshop, so joined the team at Felbrigg. 

John – I saw that Jan was enjoying her volunteering. I like books, but not as much as Jan! With changes in the volunteer team I wanted to help so signed up to volunteer alongside Jan sorting the books and helping with lifting.

What do you love about volunteering at Felbrigg?

We both love to be part of the community and helping support the fab work the National Trust and teams do at Felbrigg. We enjoy helping people and being part of a fantastic team. 

Where’s your favourite spot at Felbrigg?

The Bookstore of course!! Every week you never know what is waiting for you to sort through and organise. Recently we have had a lot of donations so lots of books to sort though. It is a challenge but satisfying to clear table and keep store tidy. But we love the walks around Felbrigg and love different seasons, especially spring when you see all the lambs bouncing around as you come into volunteer, it puts a smile on your face. When weather is nice we love to have our lunch outside and enjoy the views and scenery.

What’s surprised you most about volunteering?

That everyone is so helpful and friendly and that we have made some great friends volunteering at Felbrigg. It's easy to join and be part of the team and you can be involved in different ways to suit you.

What have you learnt since joining the team?

Well just a realisation of how many books people have! Especially how many crime books have been donated recently… should we be worried?! We've also learnt about the National Trust and learn a lot from talking to our visitors about different places they come from to visit us. 

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering?

Go for it! You learn new skills, its good for mental health to be doing something different, lovely talking to people from different areas. Volunteering has given us a sense of purpose and belonging and its great to be able to make a difference and be part of a fab team!