The Oxfam shop in Market Street, Lichfield marked national volunteers’
week 1st – 7th June by recognising its team of volunteers with a
celebration afternoon on Wednesday 1st June. New Shop Manager, Jane
Williams said "It is the first time that the shop has thanked its
volunteers in such a way. The shop has been run by volunteers for over
10 years and they have done a fantastic job." And Michael Fabricant
visited the shop to thank the volunteers too.
Volunteers Week is a national annual celebration of volunteering, which
in 2005 will be in its 21st year. Its purpose is to raise awareness of
the benefits of volunteering, and to recognise those already giving time
to assist charities.
Michael Fabricant thanked the volunteers for their help to Oxfam. He
said, "Lichfield has a wonderful tradition of volunteering. Without
your help, Oxfam cannot function. And without the work that Oxfam does
worldwide, millions of people in developing countries would not be given
the help that has been provided by Oxfam over the past 50 years. And
thanks to the generosity of people in the Lichfield area, this Oxfam
shop is one of the most successful."
Jane added, "Put simply, we could not operate without the support of our
volunteers. Giving them a small party and being recognised by our local
MP Michael Fabricant is a small way to express our gratitude in giving
us their time, energy and commitment. New sandwich bar Soda Street in
Lichfield supplied a wonderful buffet of sandwiches, savouries and
cakes. Every volunteer commented on how lovely the food was."
She continued, "Thanking our volunteers is particularly important this
year following the overwhelming response to the Tsunami appeal. We
received an incredible amount of donations and have a few new volunteer
staff, from young single parents to retired professional people, willing
to contribute the invaluable gift of their time and knowledge to help us
sort and sell those donations. The Lichfield shop is so special because
this was all done at the time when it was run totally by volunteers."
New Volunteer, Rebecca Sommerfield, says, "Volunteering makes me feel
that I’m doing something for others that are not as fortunate as me and
not usually through any fault of their own, such as natural disasters.
I really enjoy my time in the Lichfield Oxfam shop, it’s always varied
and I get to meet lots of different people."
Nationally, Oxfam’s 750 shops are staffed by over 20,000 volunteers.
Their main role is in processing and accurately pricing donations, for
which training is given. Other tasks include stock checking, window
dressing and working on the till. Oxfam also has significant numbers of
volunteers in non-retail positions – assisting stores with marketing,
public relations and a wide variety of business issues. Some volunteers
choose to give three to four hours a week while others spend several
days each week assisting shops.
Trading director of Oxfam, Chris Coe, said "Volunteers are essential to
the work of Oxfam. This week’s recognition is a small token of our
gratitude for their generosity in giving the gift of their time to help
improve the lives of millions of people suffering in poverty."
The Oxfam shop in Lichfield is still in urgent need of new volunteers,
anyone interested in volunteering at the shop in Market Street,
Lichfield, should visit between the hours of 9.30am and 4.15pm to
collect an application form.
Michael Fabricant with some of the volunteers outside
the Oxfam shop in Market Street, Lichfield.