A social enterprise in Cornwall is challenging women to take on volunteer roles traditionally filled by men.
Learning about and fixing up electrical appliances, furniture, bikes and running the warehouse at RE:SOURCE are volunteer opportunities that normally attract a steady stream of men.
To celebrate next week’s International Women’s Day (March 8), and its Pledge for Parity campaign, RE:SOURCE is launching a search for women to take up these roles and become champions for the organisation.
RE:SOURCE, which is part of national charity Addaction, repairs, refurbishes and sells unwanted furniture, appliances, bikes and other goods.
It provides a real working environment for people in the local community to gain experience in a range of skills, alongside completing courses in areas such as financial management, confidence building and CV writing. Based in Bodmin, it attracts volunteers from all over the county.
The ‘female champions’ would help RE:SOURCE encourage other women to gain experience in similar roles by sharing their experiences and supporting others who start volunteering in these areas.
No previous experience is needed, just the enthusiasm to give the roles a good go and encourage others to do the same.
The RE:SOURCE staff team has a nearly 50/50 split on gender and the senior management team is 75% women. However, of the volunteers who signed up in 2014/15 only around 18% were women and the majority chose to volunteer in administrative roles.
Retail manager, Rebecca Rapson, said: “We’re very happy to welcome women to any of our volunteer roles, but are particularly keen to see more women taking up the chance to learn skills like electrical repair, bike maintenance or woodwork.
“Gender parity is extremely important to our organisation and we hope that the launch of the female champions will show we’re taking action to prove it.”