Oban charity shop’s appeal for volunteers

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Oxfam’s Oban store has issued an urgent appeal for volunteers.

It follows the re-opening of the store at 107-109 George Street from Monday April 26 and an expected deluge of donations.

Oxfam stores across Scotland are preparing for a busy time with donations and sales.

The first day of trading for the re-opening of its shops in England and Wales saw sales up 77 per cent – the most successful Monday ever for the organisation apart from Christmas periods.

The Oban shop team will be busy because of ‘lockdown decluttering,’ combined with people seeking to offload unwanted Christmas gifts, the charity said.

However, like many of its shops across Scotland, it has a shortfall of hundreds of volunteers with some existing members unable to return to duties because they are  shielding.

More volunteers are needed to help sort and sell the donations to raise as much money as possible for Oxfam’s vital work around the world.

Tom Richardson, Oxfam’s interim head of retail, said: ‘We know from the last lockdown that people will have taken the chance to have a good declutter and we’re anticipating a deluge of generous donations.

‘As we prepare to get back to business in a Covid-safe way, we’re encouraging people from all walks of life who want to live in a fairer, more sustainable world to consider giving one of the greatest gifts of all – their time.’

Volunteers are asked to give as little as a few hours a week and can take up a range of vital roles, from serving customers to sorting donations and arranging window displays.

Each shop typically relies on a team of 30 dedicated volunteers and one or two staff, with more than 1,500 volunteers across Scotland.

As well as volunteers, Oxfam’s Oban store is also appealing for good quality donations including clothing, books, music and bric-a-brac.

Mr Richardson said: ‘People in Oban have always been generous in their support of Oxfam’s shops, whether through shopping, donating or volunteering, and we’re looking forward to safely welcoming people back through our doors.

‘Given the volume of donations we’re anticipating, the store promises to be treasure trove of gems for savvy, sustainable shoppers.’

Oxfam said protecting staff, volunteers and customers from Covid-19 remains the priority.

Shop teams are continuing to implement social distancing, readily available hand sanitiser, masks and gloves for staff, screens at tills, regular and frequent cleaning, closed changing rooms and encouraging contactless payment.

In advance of the Oban shop re-opening, people are invited to register their interest in volunteering online.

Money raised in Oban helps fight poverty and injustice around the world, providing people with lifesaving essentials like clean water and soap as well as the hope of a better future, the charity said.

To register to volunteer, please visit https://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/volunteer-in-an-oxfam-shop/