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Volunteer call for local charity shops  

Volunteer call for local charity shops  

Charity shops have experienced a surge in donations and rising sales since reopening, but many shops are struggling to recruit enough new volunteers to fill gaps left by volunteers who have not returned following lockdown and to keep pace with the growing interest in buying second hand.  

Did you know that the charity sector is able to sell or recycle around 90% of clothing, 90% of books and 85% of electrical goods that get donated to them? This means a lot of waste can then get diverted from landfill. Charity shops also enable customers to buy clothes from a more sustainable source for a price that suits most budgets.

A recent study by the Charity Retail Association found that 61% of charity shop volunteers feel that volunteering has had a positive impact on their physical and mental health, with over 80% reporting to have more self-esteem and confidence. And if you’re giving up your time to help a cause that’s close to your heart, you’ll get an extra feel-good factor too. 

By volunteering you can quickly gain great experience in areas like communication, organisation and customer service. Volunteering in charity shops can also help equip people with the skills they may need to find work in the future. You will meet new people every day and have some fun for a good cause. 

Whether you're a 'people-person' who would enjoy greeting and serving customers, or you're more suited to a behind-the-scenes role, where you would sort and prepare donations, there are local opportunities to get involved. Training and support are given and in some roles you will be able to use your interest and knowledge of music, books and fashion.

One charity looking for help in Ripon is Martin House, which has been caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions for more than 30 years. Ripon people are being asked to help support seriously ill children by volunteering at Martin House Children’s Hospice’s charity shop which opened on Fishergate in December last year. Now it needs more volunteers to help continue raising money to care for families across the region.
Heather Griffiths, volunteer co-ordinator, said: “Our shop in Ripon had only been open for a month when we were forced to close due to the third lockdown, so we didn’t have the chance to build up a pool of volunteers to help”.
“The shop has been so well supported by customers when we’ve been open, but we really do need more volunteers, so we can keep serving our customers and supporting families.”

Martin House has 13 charity shops across the region, which together raise more than £1 million to support the hospice. 
Heather added: “Our first priority is to ensure our volunteers and staff are safe at all times, so we have robust measures in place to protect them. This includes screens, hand sanitising and limits on the number of customers allowed in the shop at any time. It’s important to remember how rewarding volunteering can be, as it can be a very social activity, while at the same time helping to support a local charity.” 

Anyone interested in volunteering can call into the Ripon shop, email, or visit

You can also find many other local opportunities to get involved at