Katherine, 16 years old, is one of the volunteers at Semley Village Stores, near Shaftesbury.
Katherine’s journey with Semley Village Stores began four years ago, when as a quietly spoken 13 year old, she began volunteering with the community business, on Saturday afternoons, as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
When Katherine joined the Shop she was a completely different young person to the one who works so diligently today. By her own admission Katherine was very shy and struggled to embrace the volunteer activities she was given through her own initiative. Despite an initially challenging volunteering experience, Katherine returned to Semley Village Stores to undertake her DofE Silver Award.
To the shop’s huge pleasure, Katherine waltzed her DofE Silver Award with a glowing tribute from the shop, before going on to do her Gold DofE – volunteering again.
In the summer of 2021 she was elevated to a “paid teenager” at £9.00 per hour because the Shop wanted to recognise how far she’d come and how capable she now is. Although she is back at school for her A-levels and despite the fact that she no longer needs to volunteer for her Duke of Edinburgh Award, she has chosen to keep doing so.