Day 7: “If in doubt, chuck it out”

My second day at the charity shop started with me breaking a finger nail. I didn’t have much more luck with the donation bags I sorted either. Most things ended up in the ragbag. Tom, the Assistant Shop Manager, informed me of the motto: “If in doubt, chuck it out.” So I did. In my treasure hunting, I might not have found any hidden gems (aka vintage Chanels or a Gucci watch), I have cried tears from laughter at the junk some people donated.

Don’t give broken kid’s toys, a few lost puzzle pieces, a broken digital drum (with only one stick) or a dying robot dog toy. You’re not doing anyone a favour.

Also don’t give stained clothes, pyjama’s, (stained) bed sheets, shirts with sweat or (I hope) foundation marks or over-washed clothes with pills on it.

Just a little before closing, we unboxed the kitty merchandise (aka litter boxes, cards and magnets). It was fun to see the different goodies and make fun of some the flowery cards (very popular amongst elderly ladies).

Overall, it was a fun day. Btw, anyone interested in a (propaganda) alarm clock with a (I think) communist leader on it?


Day 8: Styling mannequins

My day started out with sticking on 144 stickers on cd’s. I was finished quickly and then, together  with another volunteer, started styling the mannequins. I had to choose a dress and pair it with some matching accessories. Unfortunately, Cats Protection does not have that many accessories, so there wasn’t a lot to choose from.

I kept on trying different accessories to go with the dress (an eye-catcher). I think I have searched every corner of the store to find some things I like.


When I finished, the other volunteer gave me the task of choosing accessories to go on display beside the window mannequin she’d styled. I kept on walking to and fro with all sorts of accessories, from bags to belts. If I wasn’t content, it’d go straight back to the shelf it’d come from.


I was quite proud of the way I draped the pearl necklace over the bag.

I ended my time with the charity shop happy with the way I styled a mannequin, with the knowledge that I’m good at sticking stickers on things, with a lot of knowledge on the workings of a (charity) shop. A possible future career, perhaps? I’ve also met some great people, and will know live a couple of years longer because of the amount of time I’ve laughed.

When I walked home today, I greeted the 20 minute walk with a smile plastered on my face. The sun shone on my face (a pleasant kind, not a squint-your-eyes kind). It was a great ending to my WISWEX experience.

Day 6: Helping in the charity shop

Today was my first day of helping at the Cats Protection charity shop.

I started by rotating several racks of clothing. This means that you take all the clothes from before the 24th and put them in a bag. These bags go to another Cats Protection charity shop, and in return, this shop will get new items too. This way, the assortment of clothes changes and there are always new things to find!

I then started sorting through donations and putting tags on the items we chose to keep. Several items were chucked away into the “ragbag”. Even, unfortunately, the lining of a Burberry coat.

It was nice to have been busy the whole day and I’ve bonded with several volunteers over the treasure hunting we’ve done today.

Day 5: Shop till you drop

Today, I went into the Leamington Spa centre and had a look at all the shops. There are so many charity shops! After a few hours, I had a sit down at Costa, one of my favourite coffee places.


I had a salted caramel latte and a chocolate twist. I ended up buying some things at Cats Protection. I’m a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t find any other cool stuff, but I love the “Lady of the Manor” shirt.


Day 4 pt2: the Kingmaker’s home

After I said my good-byes to the Coventry Music Museum, we went into Warwick.

There, we walked around the town, which has lots of Tudor-style  houses. We went to the gardens beside the Warwick Castle, also known as the Kingmaker’s home. The lord who lived in the castle was very powerful and because Warwickshire had a really big army, the man he supported became the king. I thought that was pretty cool.


Both the garden and the castle were absolutely breath-taking.


Day 4: Good bye, Coventry Music Museum

Today was my last day helping out at the Coventry Music Museum. It was a quiet day, but I was able to lead the visitors around.


Before I left, Pete and Julie gave me a bag with some things so that I’ll always remember Coventry and the Music Museum. And I will!


They gave me the Coventry Medallion, which is really rare, a mug from the Coventry Music Museum and chocolates. I insisted on also buying a magnet with the address of the CMM, another small souvenir.

On my first day, I gave Julie and Pete and all the other volunteers speculaas and hopjes. They really loved it!


I’ve also signed the door, so there will always be a part of me at the Coventry Music Museum.

Thank you, for the amazing experience and being surrounded by all these wonderful volunteers.



Day 3: fun conversations

This morning, we had pancakes and chocolate croissants for breakfast (it was so amazing!).

At the Music Museum, I met even more volunteers. We talked about Dutch biscuits (I’d brought speculaas) and the Dutch school system and how it differed from the British one.

It also turns out That the volunteers love Dubai, so we talked about that too.

There were quite a few people today and at times it got quite busy. I led people around and got to know many visitors.

In the evening, we went to see Peter Rabbit in the cinema and it was hilarious. I think I found it even funnier than Jasper, the eight-year-old kid.

Day 2: smiling in the sun

Today was my second day at the Coventry Music Museum and today I got to meet some other volunteers as well and have gotten to know their reasons for volunteering.

I worked on promoting the social media account (Instagram). I came up with ways to attract the attention of Coventry based Instagram-users.

I also walked around town handing out flyers and looking to see if we could put up flyers anywhere. There were quite a few places and it was very pleasant to walk because the sun shone on my face.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant in Leamington Spa. The food was so delicious!



Day 1: the calm before the storm

6:20… My day started at 6:20 (unintentionally), but it was alright. I just stayed in bed for a while.

The first day of helping at the Coventry Music Museum went by peacefully. I got a tour around the place (and my own name tag and I am way more excited about that than I should be) and then we waited.

At 2:30 (approximately an hour before closing, the first visitors arrived. I led them around and remained on stand-by in case anyone needed me.

After that, I quickly went into town and walked by some of the shops. I can’t wait to -quite literally- shop till I drop.

After dinner, I danced -ungracefully- with their son on the xbox. It was so much fun and also quite tiring!

Although today was a quiet day, it was fun to learn about all the  Coventry music (most famously 2 Tone), the volunteers and why they love what they do.

Tomorrow, I will be working on their social media (instagram). The other volunteers have already told me to be ready for tomorrow, because they are sure that there will be more visitors!


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