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Frome charity shop featured in national campaign

A Frome charity shop is being featured in a national campaign to inspire more people to consider volunteering.

Judith Loughlin, manager of Barnardo’s in Kingsway Precinct, was invited to share her experiences of recruiting and motivating her team of helpers.

Her blog is being used by Community Service Volunteers (CSV) in support of their Make A Difference – Get Inspired campaign which runs throughout October. It can be viewed at www.csv.org.uk/difference

Judith said, “We wouldn’t have a shop if we didn’t have our volunteers. They’re vitally important and every hour is always appreciated.

“Our own team currently consists of 24 volunteers aged from just 14 years old up to an amazing 89 years old, and the longest-serving supporter has been with us for 17 years.

“The key to success is to provide a fun atmosphere and an enjoyable experience where everyone is treated equally, and truly cherished and respected.

“The paid staff even put a little of their own money aside each month in order to buy cards and presents to celebrate special occasions for the volunteers, such as birthdays and weddings.

“In many ways it is an extended family. We share stories, we laugh together and sometimes we need to support each other during difficult times.”

Judith added: “Some of the younger volunteers use it as an opportunity to add something to their CV while still at school or college, or to build their self-confidence; others simply see it as a way to make a positive contribution to society. We even have a couple of volunteers who have just moved to England and are using the experience to improve their language skills.

“It can often be a stepping stone to other things. Some of the team have since gone on to paid employment in other shops, including in senior management roles.

“Whatever their reasons for joining, they all make new friends. They have so much fun together that we even arrange meals and skittles evenings so that everyone can meet outside of work as well.

“We have all sorts of roles from sorting and pricing stock to steam-cleaning the clothes and serving behind the till. Everyone can contribute something.

“I’m very lucky to be a member of such a fantastic team.”

The Frome shop is open Monday-Saturday from 9.00am-5.30pm and Sundays from 10.00am-4.00pm, and always welcomes donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, accessories and bric-a-brac. Call (01373) 463513 or visit www.barnardos.org.uk

 

 

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