Sue Ryder shop looking for volunteers
EMERSONS Green’s only charity shop is looking for volunteers to help sort through the huge amount of donations it receives.
The Sue Ryder shop on Emersons Way has a full-time manager, two part-time members of staff and 12 volunteers but needs more help to get through the 400 to 500 bags of clothes, accessories, books and bric-a-brac items donated each week.
All donations are sorted in the shop’s back room, which involves volunteers checking whether the donation has been gift aided or not, emptying the contents on to a table to see if each item is saleable or not, and then pricing and tagging individual items for sale. Any items that have holes, or are damaged or soiled are collected once a week to be recycled.
The shop is looking for volunteers help out on a regular basis, even if it’s just for a couple of hours a week, and has a particular need for people to cover Saturdays and holidays. Volunteers need to be at least 17, and taster sessions are offered to ensure that the opportunity is the right fit before committing. Following this, a full induction and training will also be provided.
Manager Deborah Bressington says the team recently achieved an 18 per cent increase in sales compared to last year.
She said: “We’re the only charity shop in Emersons Green and Lyde Green and as a result we’re very busy. When I came here, the shop was not in a great place, although it had always been well supported. We’ve got a great team here and we’ve all worked really hard to turn the merchandising around and make it the lovely shop that it is today – we just love our displays!
“We regularly have customers telling us how much they like the shop and we’re like a little family here, but we couldn’t do it without our wonderful volunteers like Dee, who is 80 years old and has been helping us for the last nine years. She comes in two mornings a week and is such an inspiration to us all.”
Deborah also stressed the importance of supporters bringing donations to the shop only during opening hours, as bags left outside run the risk of being fouled by dogs or rats, and are also a safety hazard for staff.
She said: “We understand that people are regularly moving in and out of our area and leave items outside as they are in a hurry, but as well as potentially being a health and safety hazard we also lose out on the gift aid opportunity if donations are left in this way.”
The charity shop is currently in need of fashion accessories such as handbags, shoes, belts and jewellery, as well as menswear.
To find out more about volunteering for Sue Ryder, pop into the shop during opening hours (Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm) or visit: https://www.sueryder.org/support-us/volunteer