Could you spare a couple of hours a week? Our country’s great charity shops need help more than ever to help reopening after the Covid crisis.

Sign up to be a charity shop volunteer here:

Pop in your postcode and you will be matched up with a charity shop in your area who needs your help. You can even state which causes you’d prefer to work with!

Listen to our Chief Executive, Robin Osterley, talk about volunteering in a charity shop, in this podcast with Job Centre Plus:

Who can volunteer to work in a charity shop?

Anyone who has time to spare and would like to use it to benefit a charity can volunteer in a charity shop. Volunteers are often parents with young children, retired people, students, young people seeking work experience, and part-time workers.

To offer your services, contact the local charity shop of your choice. To do this, either use our find a charity shop database, contact your local volunteer centre, or see our list of members.

What does volunteering involve?

Volunteers often enjoy their time at a charity shop. It gives them the chance to meet people, make new friends, become part of a team and learn new skills while raising money for charity.

You may be asked to sort donations, price goods, work on the till, and create window displays. Special skills are not often required as training is given on the job. If you have experience in other areas, tell the shop manager as it can often be put to use.

Being a volunteer need not interfere with your other commitments. Many shops ask for a regular commitment of a set number of hours per week that can work around your schedule.

Will volunteering cost me anything?

Some charities reimburse volunteer expenses.

I’m on benefits – can I volunteer?

On Incapacity Benefit? You can volunteer without payment being affected. If you claim Job Seeker’s Allowance you should not be affected if you are still ‘actively seeking and available for work’. Whichever benefit you receive, inform your benefits agency if doing voluntary work.


Our members take safeguarding of their volunteers and staff as a priority. Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, charity shops have a legal duty to protect children and vulnerable adults. These include individuals who are on the children’s and/or adults barred list working with these vulnerable groups. When staff and volunteers undertake what the Act considers Regulated Activities, they are subject to a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check.

DBS is just one of several measures that charity shops use to protect their staff and volunteers within their work places.

We expect our members to take any allegations of harmful behaviour within the charity retail sector seriously and take the appropriate action.

Looking for a career in charity retail?

Go to Jobs in charity retail