Volunteer drive at St Luke’s CARES charity shops

Since opening two more charity shops in South Leeds, St Luke’s CARES is looking for more keen people to volunteer a bit of their time in their local shop.

Photo: Lucy Potter
Photo: Lucy Potter

As well as shops on Beeston Road and in Morley, St Luke’s now also have a small shop in Middleton on Throstle Lane in the heart of the community and a prominent shop on Dewsbury Road in Beeston.

Duncan Wells, Retail Manager for St Luke’s CARES says:

“Volunteering in the shop is a great way of getting to meet people in the area. It’s an easy way to engage with the community and it’s nice to get the chance to have a chat with regular customers. We aim to create a welcoming environment in each of our shops creating a friendly space for the community. We are seeking friendly people from any background to join the diverse team to volunteer in this setting and to get stuck in with practical duties such as sorting donations, pricing and preparing stock”

Volunteering in our shops has already proven beneficial for many of our volunteers. Working in our shops has helped individuals gain the skills, experience and confidence required to go on and achieve paid work and access further education and training opportunities. One such example is Graham.

When Graham began volunteering at the Beeston Road shop 18 months ago, he was unemployed, living in a flat in Beeston, at risk of isolation and under pressure from the Job Centre. The Beeston Road shop offered him an excellent volunteering opportunity as a shop assistant which he grasped with both hands, receiving customer service and till training and guidance in sorting and steaming clothes. In addition, to the provision of valuable work experience at the shop, Graham attended the local CAP job club to develop his job hunting and employability skills.

St Luke’s has since developed a relationship with the job club and has welcomed further referrals from the club to volunteer in the shops. In November this year, the organisation opened its fourth charity shop in Middleton, Graham applied and was successful in being given the shop manager post, a paid position. Graham has since been doing an extremely good job at the shop, and now trains and supports other volunteers.

If you would be interested in finding out more about the volunteering opportunities mentioned in this article please contact Duncan Wells at duncan@stlukescares.org.uk (0113) 277 1443. The shops are open Monday to Saturday 9-5 but St Luke’s CARES are flexible with any time that can be offered by volunteers, just an hour or two on a weekly basis can be helpful. Travel and lunch expenses are also available.