Well, this is it. After six action-packed weeks my internship with the Charity Retail Association has finally come to a close, making this my final weekly roundup blog post.
Firstly, a result with one of the sustainability bloggers I have been contacting! Curiously Conscious blog has included Find a charity e-shop in this article. Hopefully converting more of the public’s e-shoppers to choose charity shops.
Compared to previous weeks, this week naturally saw me polishing off the few last bits of work and getting ready for the end of the project. I put my experiences and reflections into writing with the post-project write up, fed back to St Elizabeth’s regarding other options for online selling, did another day volunteering at one of their charity shops and, to be honest, that was essentially it. I won’t bore you with too many of the details regarding the write-up or the feedback, and all I’ll say about my time volunteering this week was that beyond merely working the till and sorting the donations, this time I was also given the responsibility of tagging up new stock.
Instead, this final blog post will be reflective, focussing on what I had learnt and gained during my time, hopefully this proves interesting.
Interestingly, the very last thing I was told on the last day of the internship was almost identical to the very first thing I was told on the first day, “working in the charity sector is completely unlike working anywhere else”. My time in the sector, as admittedly brief as it was, has definitely given me an invaluable insight into what it’s like working in charity, and I have to say I agree with the statement. Working in a charity shop, for example, was something I had never really given much thought to prior to the last six weeks, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Once I did start, there were many things that surprised me. I had no idea at just how many donations charity shops do receive and it was a hectic, albeit certainly enjoyable experience, running between working the till and sorting masses of donated clothes.
Much of the research I did over the internship period was similarly eye-opening. When researching different online selling platforms, I was often overwhelmed by just how many different options were available, and how many different things had to kept in mind when weighing up those options. Similarly, the research I did while creating a press release and social media content was also surprising. While I of course knew it had been detrimental, I hadn’t fully realised just how large the impact of Covid had been on the charity sector. Nor had I realised just how many charity shops have begun to make the move online until I started promoting the CRA’s Find a charity e-shop page.
My internship over the last six weeks has not only been a valuable one, but an enjoyable one. My time with the CRA and St Elizabeth’s has given me invaluable insight and experience into many different areas such as PR, social media managing, shop managing, online selling, journalism, and much more, and has certainly helped me to develop many skills from effective leadership and teamworking, to critical thinking and research capability. Beyond all that, however, this experience has ultimately been fun. Through it all I’ve had a thoroughly exciting, engaging and enjoyable experience and I would just like to thank both the CRA and St Elizabeth’s for giving me this great opportunity.
We at the CRA all want to say a huge thanks to Freddy for helping to raise the profile of online charity shopping.