Ray Muscat has recently taken up his new role as Donation Organiser for St Martins. He helps organise the many generous donations from individuals, groups and organisations and is involved in the exciting Donation Station project aimed at empowering clients who volunteer.
What is your role?
I started as the Donations Manager a few weeks ago; we get lots of phone calls and emails offering goods that would be of benefit to us. We do not turn offers down (they primarily take good quality clothing for clients). If we can’t use them, then we make sure other organisations that can will get them. If we get blankets, for example, we keep them and put them aside for an animal charity. Every single donation we get we personally thank people as a courtesy and sign of respect.
Because of the amount of goods we get, the Donation Station has been set up, a drop off point near St Martins at Bishopgate near the charity’s head office. It will be staffed by volunteers who help sort through everything. The idea is to make people self sufficient and responsible, to give people a share of the responsibility and something to get up for and help with life skills. At some point the shop may be open to the public. We would just make a suggested donation on clothes, we aren’t greedy about it and make sure it’s reasonable for people.
We also put clothes on the St Martins’ eBay site so if we get something designer like Bugatti shoes or something then we can sell them and the money goes back into the charity.
What attracted you into the role?
I have always looked at people and put myself in their shoes and many clients have disadvantages compared to the average person. When I came to Norwich in 1973 I spoke pidgin English and some people were not too kind. I would naturally seek out the company of Maltese people, where I am from, and residents here are no different, they seek people out in similar situations. Why do some people turn to alcohol and drugs? There are many reasons; I think you have to try seeing things from their perspective. I like the fact you are helping people and treating them as equals, everyone has a right to a chance. I am no different to these guys and I empathise but at the same time I do not judge.
Come and visit the Donation Station
Members of the public are welcome to come and have a look and purchase items – all money raised goes straight back to St Martins. The Donation Station is located at 33 Bishopgate, Norwich NR1 4AA and is open weekdays from 10am – 2pm