Celebrating International Volunteers Day with Beth

On International Volunteers Day, hear from our volunteer Beth about her experience as a shop assistant at our charity shop in Romiley.

By Teagan Earith on December 5, 2023

I start work at 10am and it’s always lovely to be welcomed so warmly by Esme, the Shop Manager, and Duck, (David), who also works Wednesdays. 

Jackie is also often in on a Wednesday and it’s so nice to see familiar faces. 

When your life revolves around being at home with your kids, it gives an extra sense of belonging. It’s not a stuffy, serious vibe at work, it’s very much a friendship feel, with good banter and a chance to get to know each other.

This means the team can feel like your support system, when you’re waffling about the trials and tribulations of life, or parenting! It also extends your friendship circle when you bump into them whilst out! 

One of my main duties now includes working on Facebook. I check with Esme which section she wants me to concentrate on that day, e.g. Ladies, Men’s, Kids, Christmas etc, and I take lots of pictures of things that I think will sell well. I then upload them to the St Ann’s Romiley Facebook page, along with details of all the ways people can get in touch with us and details of any special offers on that day. 

Once uploaded, I then share the post to many different Facebook groups around the Stockport area. Once that’s done, I reply to any messages that come through, checking the size of an item, or price, or asking us to hold an item for up to 48 hours.

As well as Facebook duties, I also work on the till., putting purchases through or printing out labels for donations received. I also encourage customers to sign up to Gift Aid

When customers come into the shop with bags of donations, I take them through to the back so that they can be sorted. I’m a very social, outgoing person, so I love interacting with the customers and will always greet them as they enter and leave the shop. 

I’m more than happy to chat with them if they look like they’d appreciate that!

I love knowing that whilst I get a lot out of volunteering, it’s also for a bigger cause and a bigger picture. Beth Crowcroft, Volunteer Shop Assistant

I finish work at 12pm, having packed lots into the two hours I’m there. Over the course of the five years I’ve been at Romiley St Ann’s shop, the amount of time spent volunteering weekly has varied. I initially did one morning a week and then built it up to two mornings a week.

Due to home circumstances, I then needed to go back down to one morning a week. I love the flexibility that comes with volunteering here. 

Here’s to many more years volunteering at Romiley St Ann’s shop, as it really is such a welcoming, friendly place!