Back in July when I jointly agreed to run the NCT Wokingham Nearly New Sale with a good friend, I had no idea quite what I had let myself in for. My good friend had offered to co-run the sale prior to going back to work but a high profile promotion later and I was pretty much flying solo. This was going to be a baptism of fire.
So I set about doing what I do best, getting organised and getting the job done. I started by contacting a veteran of NCT Nearly New Sales who had organised four previous sales and met with her to get down to the nitty gritty. It’s fair to say by the end of this meeting, I was pretty overwhelmed with the sheer enormity of the task ahead. I’m a natural born worrywart and the only way I can curb my anxiety is to pro-actively do something about whatever is concerning me. This meant taking control so I armed myself with my master document, detailing all the tasks that needed doing, by whom and when. If it wasn’t on the list, then it wasn’t getting done.
When people ask what I do, I usually say that I don’t work at the moment and am a Stay-at-home-Mum who dabbles in various things, the NCT, being one of those things. If organising an NCT Nearly New Sale isn’t work, then I don’t know what is, albeit it is voluntary work, i.e. no pay cheque at the end of the day!
Heading up a team of volunteers is a very different challenge to heading up a project team at work. At work, there are roles and responsibilities which come with accountability. At work you can hold weekly face-to-face meetings , check on progress, set expectations and delegate. In the volunteer sector, there is no such thing as delegation, you can ask for help and pray that the job gets done.
I was fortunate that there was already a core team in place – I certainly couldn’t have done this without our Volunteers Coordinator, Seller Registration Coordinator, Till Coordinator, Treasurer, PR Coordinator, Café Coordinator, ‘Costco’ Coordinator (who got all our supplies!), not to mention the 40 plus volunteers who helped out on the day and 3 husbands (including mine) who were in charge of parking and queue management. To top it off, we had a great site manager who made sure that all our needs were met and my good friend was invaluable on the weekend of the sale, helping to set up and cart equipment about.
So the results are now in (drum roll please…) and the sale was an overwhelming success – 136 sellers, 445 shoppers and £4.5k raised for the NCT and I made £80 as a seller – not bad for a first time NCT Nearly New Sale Coordinator!
‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy