Much loved comedian Harry Hill worked the tills, sorted stock, made friends with staff, and charmed customers when he volunteered at the Oxfam shop in Victoria London.
The TV star is supporting Oxfam’s Give a Shift campaign, which launches today to encourage the public to volunteer in its shops. People can volunteer at Oxfam shops for as little as two hours a week. All volunteers are assured of a warm welcome, an interesting, worthwhile experience, and genuine appreciation of their support.
Harry Hill said: “I volunteered to Give a Shift because I’m a fan of Oxfam. It’s out to put an end to injustice and poverty, which is very difficult to argue with.”
Oxfam shops rely on teams of volunteers to stay open. Last year, the network of 630 shops in the UK and the Oxfam Online Shop raised almost £22 million pounds for the charity’s work fighting extreme poverty and suffering in more than 60 countries around the world.
Research shows volunteering is not only a worthwhile way to spend your spare time for a good cause, it benefits the volunteer too. Studies conducted on behalf of Oxfam revealed volunteering increases social networks and improves job prospects*.
Harry agrees: “If you’re putting together a CV, volunteering will look great on that. And you get lots of experiences you wouldn’t otherwise get in life,” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed looking behind the scenes of Oxfam. I’ve been coming here since I was 12. Now I’ve got to look behind the curtain. I’ve got to work the tills, and met some very interesting customers. Anything that involves the public has potential to be fun. You never know who is going to walk in the door and what they are going to say to you.”
All volunteers are given on-the-job training and the chance to learn new skills, develop existing talents and take on responsibility. Everyone is valued and appreciated. The range of work includes pricing donations, sorting stock, updating the shop’s social media channels, using the till, photography, dressing the windows, and driving the van.
Daniel O’Driscoll, Oxfam Head of Volunteering said: “Put simply, without our team of amazing volunteers Oxfam shops could not open. Volunteers really are the heart and soul of our shops and we rely on them and appreciate their contribution hugely. We do all we can to make sure every volunteer has an enjoyable time, and gets what they hope for out of the experience.
“Every week, one volunteer giving a shift could raise enough money to give two people clean drinking water in Ethiopia. Or to provide one woman in Bangladesh with access to a safe bathing cubicle. Or to train six farmers in climate resilient farming techniques in Ghana.
“Of course, each volunteer is different and contributions vary. But what they all have in common is they are amazing, generous people who make the world a fairer, kinder place.”