Giving money to charity is a rewarding and positive experience, but there are other ways to give something back – and it can be just as rewarding, and beneficial, to choose to donate a little of your time by volunteering in a local charity shop.
Whether you’re just curious, or ready to take the next step, this quick guide will fill you in on all of the important details…
What You Need
- Regular Free Time: while volunteering for an event can be a one off, a charity shop will be looking for people who can commit to certain time slots every week. This makes it great for students and retired people, although anybody with regular time on their hands will fit right in.
- Commitment: other members of staff and volunteers in store will be relying on you, so it’s important that you can treat this like any other job and avoid being late or leaving without notice.
- Enthusiasm: once you’re behind the counter or arranging a window display, you represent the charity that you’re working with; be enthusiastic and you’ll help others to get excited about your aims and goals/
What You Don’t Need
- Previous Experience: you don’t need to have done anything like this to get stuck in, so long as you’re eager to learn. This makes it a great first time role for those who are looking to build up their CV with some practical work experience, or a good route back into the job market if you’ve had a long time away.
Sound like this could be the right position for you? In many cases the application process is a simple as popping into the local branch of a charity that you support and having a chat with the people already working there.
They’ll let you know if they need any volunteers, and you can discuss your potential schedule; you don’t necessarily need to give a large amount of time as even a couple of hours a week can make a big difference.
There will usually be some forms to fill in, and you’ll need to speak to the manager of the store – but in many cases, that’s as complicated as the process gets.
For some charities, such as Cancer Research, you can apply online while for others, such as Barnardo’s, you can find suitable vacancies on an online database, so it does pay to do a little online research and ensure that you have all the information you may need.
Still on the fence? Here are just a few of the best reasons for visiting your local charity shop and giving it a go:
- A great chance to be the change that you want to see in the world.
- Meet new people and become part of a community.
- Learn skills which will make you a more competitive applicant for future jobs.
There’s never been a better time to get behind the till and start making a difference, so if charity shop volunteering seems like something you might enjoy, we heartily recommend giving it a try!