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  • Giving the Gift of Time - Welcoming younger volunteers to our shops

Giving the Gift of Time - Welcoming younger volunteers to our shops

As part of Marianne Bradshaw's Giving The Gift of Time blog series, this week sees a guest entry from Thames Hospice Head of Volunteering, Jenn Johnson. Marianne is working alongside Jenn to develop a sustainable volunteer programme for our retail division and here, Jenn talks about welcoming younger volunteers to our shops.

We recently lowered the age we can accept retail volunteers to 16 from the previous age restriction of 18. Although they need to have finished statutory school education before they can volunteer in store, this is still potentially a huge group of people we can now work with.

With the jobs market as it is, younger people looking for their first job are finding it difficult to gain employment. We hope that by offering volunteering opportunities we will be giving the younger generation a chance to gain some great experience to put on their CVs and UCAS forms.

Vintage and Retro

Not all the skills they can gain working in our shops are retail specific; it's a good place for young people to flex their teamwork, communication and interpersonal capabilities too. We also aim to offer training in specialist skills, such as visual merchandising and how to identify genuine vintage items, to really make their CV stand out from the crowd. The Hospice is also able to provide a reference to support their job search.

Volunteering is sociable, fun and can lead to making friends with people you may otherwise have never have met.

So if you're thinking of a career in retail, fashion or visual merchandising, why not volunteer and start gaining some experience in that field today?

We believe the younger generation will bring a fresh wave
of enthusiasm and offer a whole new perspective to
Thames Hospice shops.