Volunteer at Oxfam

Ben Diette

As a student there are so many ways to raise money for charity. This can be by doing something big like taking part in events, such as getting sponsorship for a marathon or organising a student party. But there are so many smaller ways you can help, especially if you are new to volunteering and fundraising. This can be anything from giving money to a charity collector in the street, going along to a charity comedy night or to getting your hands dirty with a bit of light volunteering.

Before I came to university I worked in the Oxfam shop in Withington once a week. People do this for so many different reasons, to help the charity, for something to do or something to boost your CV. I volunteered for all these reasons and found it to be a great experience. In 2008 Oxfam GB raised £17.1m through its shops in the UK and this couldn’t have been done without its 20,000 strong voluntary workforce. It is a good feeling knowing you contributed to this.

Due to the nature of the work and Oxfam’s cause it can be expected that Oxfam employees are a welcoming bunch. Duties in the shop can be quite diverse and range from working on the till, sorting and arranging donations, cleaning the shop, and other general duties. Due to lack of volunteers at times, more responsibilities can be given to you if you want such as helping with the opening and closing of the shop and helping the manager sort the money. Volunteering is best when it doesn’t feel like you are doing work and I felt like this due to Oxfam’s friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Before working at Oxfam I had nothing on my CV and I have no doubt that having it on my CV helped me get paid work as it showed employers I had experience in a working environment and skills in customer service. Volunteering is much more than just you giving your time and skills to a cause, there is so much you can get out of it yourself.

As previously mentioned there is an Oxfam shop in the centre of Withington Village on Wilmslow Rd that is always looking for more volunteers as well as one nearer to the university at 300/302 Oxford Rd, opposite Sainsbury’s local and Costa Coffee.

Starting as a volunteer at Oxfam is so easy to do. All you have to do is go into a shop and ask for an application form. Fill it out in a couple of minutes and sort out when you want a shift. My shifts were in blocks of 4 hours and I committed to 8 hours a week although this was in the summer holidays so 4 hours a week may be possible in term time.

All in all it is a very rewarding experience where you can give something back and help so many people around the world at the same time as making loads of friends, having something to put on your CV and spending your free time doing something worthwhile.

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Comments
One Response to “Volunteer at Oxfam”
  1. rewspencer says:

    I have also volunteered for an oxfam store and too found it rewarding!

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