I’ve been a volunteer since April 2013. I was looking to do something that I could be proud of myself for, something that would help me as well as help other people. I decided that I’d get into contact with some local charity shops and I currently volunteer in a local Sue Ryder Charity shop. Although at the time I didn’t mind where I volunteered, I am glad that it was the Sue Ryder shops which contacted me because Sue Ryder is a charity very close to my heart for many reasons, one of which being that my Dad was cared for in a hospice supported by Sue Ryder.
Volunteering in the shop has certainly provided me with a strong insight into what shop work is like and I was surprised to find how much I really enjoy doing it. One of my main worries was using a till, but I had till training and I was amazed at how quickly I picked it up. Now, I work the till on my own every Friday morning and it’s usually one of the busiest times of the week.
Not only have I learnt about how a charity shop works, I’ve found it intriguing to realise how important the public are in helping by donating the items they no longer use in order for the shops to sell and, in the case of Sue Ryder, raise money to provide care for people with life-changing illnesses. I always leave the charity shop after my shifts feeling as though I’ve done something good for someone somewhere and that’s a very rewarding feeling, especially because I know how important the work of Sue Ryder is for people.
Another thing I enjoy about volunteering is interacting with the other volunteers in the shops as well as the managers and assistant managers who are incredibly friendly and helpful. I have certainly improved my teamwork skills by volunteering. I admire also how kind the customers are towards the volunteers, it brings the customers and the volunteers closer together.
Overall, my volunteering experiences are so positive. It’s equipped me with the experience of working in a retail environment as well as developed my skills which I’m sure will be useful in the future.
In the UK there are lots of 'charity shops' in every town and city. They sell second-hand clothes and other things to raise money for charity. Are there any charity shops in your country?