Volunteers working their way up

Nineteen-year-old Jade Blackwell from Ashford started out as a volunteer in her local Sam Beare shop, and has now been recruited as our first ever retail apprentice. For the next year she will receive training, which amongst other things will involve working across our various shops, in our warehouse and retail office.

Jade originally worked in another charity shop, but when she saw our Ashford based Outlet Store, she liked it so much that she decided to start volunteering there instead, and now she’s taken the next step up and become a paid member of the retail team. Her goal is to work with the patients in the Hospices, but for now she’s learning about our organisation on the job, and developing her skills and self-confidence ahead of her next career move. She enjoys the fact that every day is different, and feels that she’s already learned a lot from talking to and working alongside experienced people in our shop in Walton on Thames, where she’s currently based.

The move from volunteer to paid work is a trend that is becoming more evident in Woking & Sam Beare shops. Overall 1/3 of all the Hospices retail staff started out as volunteers, and in the last year alone the Walton shop has seen 8 volunteers move into paid rolls in other High Street shops. Area Shops Managers Rosemary Vyse believes that giving your time to get a job is a clear sign of commitment that any employer will appreciate.

Learning the business from the inside, whilst building your CV is clearly why so many volunteers go on to work for us, or even move on to other retailers. So if you would like to give your time to learn more about your local Hospice, give something back or develop your CV, please contact your nearest WSB Hospices shop or contact our Volunteers Services Manager Mary Morgan on 01483 881750 or send her an email here.

You can see a full list of all our shops here.

Read more about volunteering here.