Bob Clarke and Bob Standaloft, affectionately referred to as B1 and B2, have been volunteering with Family Life for over 20 years and have known each other even longer. Partners in crime for more than two decades, both were members of the Lions Club where they first heard that Family Life’s Sandringham office was in need of a maintenance person and volunteer. Lucky for us, we got two for the price of one!
Over the years, both Bobs have made a huge impact on almost every aspect of our Social Enterprise offering, from setting up desks and shelves in the original Sandringham office, to installing the cash register at our first Highett store on Bluff Road and painting the original Cheltenham store (after a week of deliberation on the colour!) – it’s fair to say they’ve been busy!
Read their full interview below.
|Where do you volunteer?||B2: In the beginning we were at the Family Life headquarters in Sandringham. Putting together desks and shelves and all sorts of things. Later we moved to Cheltenham, where I still am. I’ve worked in all four Cheltenham stores over the years.
B1: I’ve since moved to the Highett store. Way back, I remember we set up and painted the original Cheltenham store on Charman Road. It took a week for them to pick the colour after much deliberation!
B2: Before that, we helped set up the first store on Bluff Road in Highett. I remember we put the cash register in.
B1: There were about 20-25 volunteers back then, and one of them was 96 years old!
|How long have you been volunteering at Family Life?||B1: We were both members of the Lions Club in Sandringham. That’s where we first heard that Family Life was looking for a maintenance person/volunteer.
B2: We started over 20 years ago now in 2000 and have been partners in crime ever since!
|Do you have a funny memory?||B1 & B2: Oh yes lots – not sure if we should share them!|
|Why did you decide to volunteer?||B1: Seemed like a good idea at the time! Still is, 20-odd years later.
B2: I had just retired and wanted to keep busy. And we knew about Family Life from the Lions Club.
|What do you do as a volunteer?||B2: We’ve done many different things over the years, we even used to pick up furniture donations in our own car!
B1: Now, we tag and test electrical donations in the shops to make sure they’re safe to sell and use.
|What do you enjoy most about volunteering?||B1: We love the people, the social interaction and a good old chat!
B2: Yes, and just experiencing something new as neither of us had worked in retail before.
|What is the best thing you’ve got out of it?||B2: It gets me out of the house and keeps me out of trouble!
B1: Me too! And we have met so many people over the years. At least 100.
|What is your favourite volunteer memory?||B1: I’ll never forget when we discovered a gun in a donated sofa – we had to call the police!
B2: Or the missing ring that was wrongly donated – we searched and searched for it but never found it, unfortunately.
|What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering?||B2: Do it!
B1: Why not? It’s good fun and you’ve got nothing to lose.