As Volunteer Week begins, it’s the perfect time to shine a light on the remarkable individuals who selflessly donate their time and energy to support charity shops. These unsung heroes, known as charity shop volunteers, play a pivotal role in making a positive difference within their communities. Their dedication and commitment transform charity shops into bustling hubs of fundraising, all while encouaging a sense of social responsibility. Here at The Charity Shop Gift Card, we can’t do what we do without charity shops and they can’t do what they do without volunteers! So we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all charity shop volunteers and to also share some submissions we were grateful to receive from our instagram followers on their experiences with charity shop volunteering.
Laura aka @_thegreendiva I worked at scope for just over a year while I was struggling to find a full time creative job after the pandemic. It was the most rewarding experience, I met so many lovely people and learned some valuable skills. Talking to customers and volunteers helped me gain confidence and empathy for others. Was able to utilise my creative skills through visual merchandising and window dressing which was also so fun! Such a great experience and I miss it so much, still visit most weeks to pop in and see my friends and have a browse!
Aimee aka @thethriftyedit_ I love volunteering at Shelter King’s Cross. It’s such a lovely atmosphere and the ladies who work and volunteer there are so so lovely. The shop is so well curated and has a great vibe. I love going through donations and seeing how generous people have been. I am also the queen of steaming, I really enjoy steaming all the clothes! And I love seeing all these secondhand pieces find new homes.
Emily aka @found_it_at_the_charity_shop Every day volunteering is different, there is always something different to do and always such a variety of donations. I look forward to my days at the shop. I’m happy there, helping the customers and helping the charity. Being a mum is a rewarding role, but volunteering at St.Giles also gives me a purpose. I know that the work I do makes a difference and raises vital funds for the hospice and those in need.
Emily is also shortlisted for Volunteer of the year at the Charity Retail Awards. We wish her luck!
Helena aka @mrsd_preloved_finds I’ve been volunteering for Havens Hospices since July 2020, it’s like therapy for me weirdly. I get to use my creative and styling skills on displays and my love of rummaging to find great stuff to help the charity earn more by selling the right stuff on eBay. eBay listing is a slog but it’s so exciting when something you select makes some big bucks for the charity. Don’t get me wrong, like all retail there are members of the general public who make your day rubbish, but mostly the customers are lovely and love interacting with you about the items they pick up. It’s super rewarding.
To read all of the submissions we received, head to our instagram.
Volunteering in a charity shop can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Here are some reasons why people choose to volunteer in charity shops:
- Making a Difference: By volunteering in a charity shop, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community. Your efforts directly support the charity’s mission and contribute to helping those in need.
- Supporting Causes: Charity shops are often associated with specific causes or organisations. Volunteering allows you to actively support and raise awareness for causes you care about.
- Developing Skills: Volunteering in a charity shop provides an excellent platform to learn and develop various skills. You can gain experience in customer service, visual merchandising, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and more. These skills can be valuable for personal growth and future career opportunities and employers love to see voluntary work on a CV!
- Building Relationships: Volunteering in a charity shop gives a sense of community and connection. You have the chance to meet people from diverse backgrounds, form new friendships, and collaborate with like-minded individuals who share your passion for giving back.
- Retail Experience: If you’re interested in the retail industry, volunteering in a charity shop offers hands-on experience. You can learn about stock management, pricing, sales, and customer interactions, which can be beneficial if you’re considering a career in retail or even business.
- Sustainability and Recycling: Charity shops play a vital role in promoting sustainability by giving pre-loved items a second life. Volunteering allows you to actively contribute to the reduction of waste and the concept of a circular economy.
- Personal Fulfillment: Volunteering is known to provide a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction. Knowing that your time and efforts are making a difference in the lives of others can bring joy, happiness, and a deeper sense of personal fulfillment.
- Learning about the Community: Volunteering in a charity shop provides a unique opportunity to gain insights into the local community. You can learn about its challenges, needs, and resources.
Volunteers are the backbone of charity shops and play an indispensable role in their success. Their selfless dedication, passion, and expertise make them invaluable assets to the charities they support. By giving their time and skills, they enrich communities, amplify the reach of charitable causes, and create positive change. This Volunteer Week, let us express our gratitude to these unsung heroes who make a significant difference, one small act of kindness at a time.
For more information about volunteering click here and for more information on Volunteer’s week click here. If you’re interested in volunteering, most national charity shops have online applications or you can just phone/pop into a local charity shop and have a chat about volunteer opportunities.