Boost your job prospects by becoming a volunteer today

Charity shops don’t look out of place on the high street as they have become as familiar as any local shop you see today when you walk along your local promenade. The butcher, bakery, chemist shop, coffee bar and charity store all sit comfortably together along the high street.

But there’s more to today’s charity shops than ‘just’ a place to browse and buy in the name of a good cause. According to Peter Lynch, Action Cancer charity shops don’t only raise much needed funds to help provide vital services, they provide training opportunities and social benefits for volunteers too. “They are worthwhile for a lot of reasons that might not be instantly obvious,” he says. “Anyone opting to volunteer to work at a charity shop – whether they’re students looking for some retail experience or people looking for a way to support a good cause – often find they get a lot from the experience.” 5 reasons to
volunteer today:

• It’s a sociable experience. Working in a shop run by a charity like Action Cancer is a great way to meet new people. There’s always room for more volunteers and you’ll immediately share a common interest – the desire to do something good for others.

• You might learn something new. You don’t need retail experience, so it’s a great chance to learn about it in a friendly environment. “Volunteers learn to use the computer system,” says Peter. “They find out how to work with Gift Aid and about stock.”

• There’s more variety than you think. You might well be working at the till, but you could also be dressing the window – a really important task that’s vital to drawing new customers in. Out of Action Cancer’s 18 stores, 12 are designer boutique shops, so there’s extra skill required to identify top end items and consider how they might be priced.

• It’s a great addition to your CV. For young people looking to stand out from the crowd in the job market, it often pays to show experience of working in a real life situation – after all, Action Cancer charity shops raise over £1m a year. A role in a charity shop shows you’re responsible, willing to work and keen to learn

• It’s a versatile role that can fit around you. It’s ideal for young mums thinking about returning to work now the kids are at school, retired folks, students looking for weekend and summer holiday work experience – anyone, any age.

According to Peter, charity shops have proved they have a key role to play in the modern high street. “They are community hubs, places to make friends, help charity and, of course, help the environment by recycling – we’re always on the lookout for donations of clothes and furniture to help replenish our stock. “Some people think ‘why would they want me?’ but charity shops are delighted to hear from anyone who wants to find out about volunteering. Just come along, you might be surprised how much you enjoy it.”

Interested in working at one of Action Cancer’s 18 shops? Visit





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