What's it like to volunteer at a charity shop?

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k.andy
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I'm currently too free and have nothing to do and would like to volunteer at a local charity shop. I called them up and they do have a vacancy atm.

Just wondering, what's it like to volunteer at a charity shop? What timings do people volunteer at (once a week, 5 days a week,...)?

Is this any helpful for future jobs and your CV? How much do recruiters prefer people who volunteer over those who don't?

(Edit - It's a Cancer Research UK Shop)
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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It's incredibly useful for your CV. You can choose (at mine, anyway) to work as much or as little as you like, as long as you work for at least one shift (3 hours) every two weeks. It's fantastic to do if you're looking for some work experience but can't find anything subject specific for you to do at present. Anything is better than nothing, plus charity work looks better than working in a "normal" job because you're doing it because you want to, not just for money.
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rY4uGD1fMzBj4xe2
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I can't imagine it would be too exciting, but would certainly look good on your CV and I'm sure you'd get a good feeling from it.
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amsie/
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(Original post by k.andy)
I'm currently too free and have nothing to do and would like to volunteer at a local charity shop. I called them up and they do have a vacancy atm.

Just wondering, what's it like to volunteer at a charity shop? What timings do people volunteer at (once a week, 5 days a week,...)?

Is this any helpful for future jobs and your CV? How much do recruiters prefer people who volunteer over those who don't?
I did it for a year while I was at college
Did it 3hrs every sat, it helped when I was looking for a part time job so if you have the time, go for it.
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Potiron
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I volunteered at Oxfam, it was flexible - I could go as much or as little as I liked. They prefered me to stick to 9-1 or 1-5 shifts though. Or both. I found it very helpful and ended up finding a real job pretty quickly after that, it depends what you're looking for though I guess? I just wanted a studenty retaily job. It was good to have it on the CV just to show I wasn't doing nothing at all.

Oxfam was really fun, full of batty old ladies and tea breaks. And charity shops are usually desperate for volunteers.
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DiZZeeKiD
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Its boring but made me feel like a nice person for a small period of my life - I only did it one day a week when I had the day off college.

Also got to div about in massive prom dresses - don't ask.
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ddpf
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I volunteer at my local charity shop, i work one day a week for 4 hours. i could do another day i supppose, i might ask to. there's about 30 volunteers (usually goes up to 50 here apparently) so they don't make you do a lot i think.
great for future jobs and cvs, especially if they make you a key holder (trust you to open/shut shop). Shows you helped a cause, got yourself experience and gives you a refence for other jobs you might want
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moomin-matt
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i volunteered at my local charity shop for a year, only once a week. but it was worth it.

sad to say i can imagine it depends what kind of charity shop, I worked at a local hospice shop, but I imagine if you work for Oxfam it would look better, purely because its an international charity. That said it is a great opportunity to learn skills, as long as you make sure you put on your CV that you worked for nothing I think it looks great. and a great experience and way to ease boredom
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k.andy
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(Original post by moomin-matt)
i volunteered at my local charity shop for a year, only once a week. but it was worth it.

sad to say i can imagine it depends what kind of charity shop, I worked at a local hospice shop, but I imagine if you work for Oxfam it would look better, purely because its an international charity. That said it is a great opportunity to learn skills, as long as you make sure you put on your CV that you worked for nothing I think it looks great. and a great experience and way to ease boredom
It's a Cancer Research UK shop. I think it should be quite a recognised shop as well, maybe not as much as Oxfam, but still quite a lot I suppose !?
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moomin-matt
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(Original post by k.andy)
It's a Cancer Research UK shop. I think it should be quite a recognised shop as well, maybe not as much as Oxfam, but still quite a lot I suppose !?
not to say working at a local or small charity shop is less awesome. But you know what employers can be like... its not my opinion.

whatever charity you volunteer for its amazing you are giving up your time to essentially raise funds. i think people underestimate the need for volunteers.
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k.andy
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(Original post by moomin-matt)
not to say working at a local or small charity shop is less awesome. But you know what employers can be like... its not my opinion.

whatever charity you volunteer for its amazing you are giving up your time to essentially raise funds. i think people underestimate the need for volunteers.
I just found out there is an Oxfam shop near me as well who would have vacancies. Do you think it would be better choosing Oxfam over Cancer Research UK?
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jones_wise
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(Original post by k.andy)
I just found out there is an Oxfam shop near me as well who would have vacancies. Do you think it would be better choosing Oxfam over Cancer Research UK?
To be honest, I don't think it matters which company you choose - the fact that you're volunteering is the important part.

It might be worth going to both of the shops and looking around a bit to get a feel of the place, and see what the current workers/volunteers are like.
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moomin-matt
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(Original post by k.andy)
I just found out there is an Oxfam shop near me as well who would have vacancies. Do you think it would be better choosing Oxfam over Cancer Research UK?
Personally I would choose Oxfam, because i love what they do.
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Potiron
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(Original post by k.andy)
I just found out there is an Oxfam shop near me as well who would have vacancies. Do you think it would be better choosing Oxfam over Cancer Research UK?
Not at all, unless you like the work that Oxfam does more than Cancer Research.

I don't think it would look any worse on your CV if you worked in an obscure shop for a local hospice or whatever either, if that was what was dear to your heart.
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k.andy
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(Original post by jones_wise)
To be honest, I don't think it matters which company you choose - the fact that you're volunteering is the important part.

It might be worth going to both of the shops and looking around a bit to get a feel of the place, and see what the current workers/volunteers are like.

(Original post by moomin-matt)
Personally I would choose Oxfam, because i love what they do.

(Original post by Potiron)
Not at all, unless you like the work that Oxfam does more than Cancer Research.

I don't think it would look any worse on your CV if you worked in an obscure shop for a local hospice or whatever either, if that was what was dear to your heart.
Alright, thanks everyone! I'll see who will take me and go there.
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hali0112
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I volunteer at a charity shop and have been doing it for just over two years. I started doing it as I hoped it would support my university application and then carried on because I had lots of spare time and I felt that I was really helping out there. Now I am on a gap year with loads and loads of spare time and I volunteer for a few hours each week. when I started out, I was quite shy and generally an awkward teenager. working on the tills really helped me with my confidence and now I'm not shy at all in front of new people. I put it on my cv and it has been really helpful in getting me paid work in retail. It was the only experience I had but as I had been there for a long time, I had a lot of experience and could really talk about it.

If you have the time, its a great way of doing your bit for the community, meeting new people and generally improving your skills and is really good on a cv. you should try it out and see whether you like it.
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hotchoc and earmuffs
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I started working in a charity for exactly the same reason - too much free time. I volunteer about 2 - 4 times a week and it's really fun. I'd definitely recommend it - It's a good chance to improve your people skills, have the opportunity of gaining till experience (if you don't already have it) and learn tonnes of new random stuff, like how to tell if items are fake or designer, being able to identify crystal/ real leather etc.
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Inconceivable
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I volunteer in a Cancer Research shop every Saturday 1-5. Been doing it for about 18 months now.

I like it. I started in order to get experience to put on CV (hadn't had a job before -still haven't). The people are nice too.

I usually do about half the time in the back (pricing books, sorting through bags of donations etc) and the other half on the till.
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Smilingsam
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Erm very hard in my opinion, ive applied to volunteer in about 5 charity shops and been turned down from all because i had no work experience :O
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DadsAngel95Xx
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its a very rewarding job knowing that you are working to help others whats also nice is the manager/assistant manager really appreciates the help and lets you choose the hours which suit you, and also you make new freinds its a very commendable commitment, and will stand you in good stead when applying for paid work as it will show you to be hardworking and not just in it for the money, the only downside is once you get a paid job you might have to leave your voluntry job hope this helps , goodluck!
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