There is so much diversity to this area of volunteering and we really put the fun in fundraising. From the shop floor, to the processing areas, to Ecommerce we have jobs to suit everyone.

Here is run down of some of the jobs available:
• Customer service on the shop floor, including operating the till/card machine, processing Gift Aid donations/sales, receiving donations and getting to know the customers and their needs.
• 
Processing stock for sale, including quality control, steaming and ticketing.
• 
Shop floor maintenance – from stock rotation, cleaning and merchandising there is always a job that needs doing.
• 
Researching the value of donations, the next fashion trends or which platform is best to raise the most funds.
• 
Online selling – researching items and preparing stock for listing and posting.

Kira 

Retail Volunteer

How long have you been volunteering for RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch?
Since 2015

Tell us about your role, what do you do?
There are lots of aspects to being a shop volunteer. Everything from “back room” jobs such as hanging and steaming clothes, stickering and pricing, to “shop floor” jobs like taking sales at the till, dressing mannequins, or making fun displays. I did a little bit of everything!

What are the challenges of your role?
Your shop manager will always make sure to give you jobs you are comfortable with and have the ability to do, but it’s on you to balance those jobs. For example, if you are minding the till, maybe you have a pile of books to sticker up and put out, but you also need to keep half an eye on the customers. We rarely complete a task uninterrupted! You get into a rhythm of moving around the shop, so it’s not too difficult. I think this job can be really fun and varied, but it’s important to remember that we have a good standard of service to maintain.

What do you get out of volunteering?
Personally, I feel very strongly about supporting the rehabilitation work the RSPCA does, so that’s the obvious bit. In that sense, it is genuinely rewarding. It also helped me settle into Manchester, starting as a new student in a new country. I did a lot of growing up in those 5 years, as one would expect regardless, but the positive socialisation I got from being a volunteer was integral to my experience in this city. I felt valued for my contributions, and I really got along with the staff and other volunteers. I should mention that the branch hired me as an assistant manager when I graduated, so I really can’t stress enough the value of making connections early!

What skills and/or knowledge have you gained from your volunteering?
I know more about jewellery stamps, recognising quality stitching, and international sizing charts than I ever thought would need, for one. But there are some really transferable skills that shop volunteering teaches you, and that you can boast on a CV regardless of your career – commitment, communication, time management, customer service, de-escalation, merchandising. Plus, you really do meet people from all walks of life doing this job, and that is so valuable, especially as a young person. It’s holistic. It helps you as an individual, not just as a prospective worker.

How much time do I need to commit to the role?
It’s genuinely very flexible. I personally did 4hrs per week on my day off from classes, and I would say 2hrs is probably the minimum. But you can do more depending on your schedule. It’s the consistency that matters, not the amount of time.

If someone was thinking about volunteering in one of our shops, what would you tell them?
We really have a good team here at our branch. You will gain good experience and develop a range of transferable skills through this position and boost your resume too! But I think you’ll make friends here and really enjoy your time helping out.

RSPCA Manchester and Salford - RETAIL Volunteer - Kira

Interested in this position?

We welcome engagement with people from across the community and proactively embrace equality, diversity and inclusion, so if you would like to join the team please be rest assured you will be welcomed with open arms. We are open to learning how we can adapt our workplaces and include more people to support us with the vital work that we do. 

We aim to:
Treated everyone with dignity and respect
Challenge inequalities
Respond positively to different needs and circumstances so that everyone can achieve their potential