The following is a guide for those looking to volunteer in a charity shop and want to know more about getting involved.
Looking for a career in charity retail?
Who can volunteer to work in a charity shop?
Anyone who has a little time to spare and would like to use it to benefit a charity can be a 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 you can go directly into the local charity shop of your choice (to find local shops you can 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 the shop as 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, but if you have experience, you should tell the shop manager as it can often be put to use.
Volunteering need not interfere with other commitments, and many shops ask for a regular commitment of a set number of hours per week, that could work around your schedule.
Will volunteering cost me anything?
Some charities reimburse volunteer expenses. Those on Incapacity Benefit can volunteer without their payments being affected, and those claiming the Job Seeker’s Allowance should not be affected as long as they are still ‘actively seeking and available for work’. Whichever benefit you receive, you should inform your benefits agency if you are 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 from individuals who are on the children’s and/or adults barred list working with these vulnerable groups. All staff and volunteers undertaking which the Act considers Regulated Activities will be 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.