Our charity shops raise money to support our work, and are treasure troves of clothes, homewares, furniture, books and records. We rely on our wonderful volunteers to help sort donations, price stock, manage the till and support customers. Jason talks to us about his experience volunteering in our Brigg shop in North Lincolnshire for the last eight years.
Hi, I'm Jason, I'm 26 years old and I have been part of the incredible volunteering team in my local Sue Ryder shop in Brigg since June 2011.
"I tell everyone what we do at Sue Ryder because I’m proud of our work."
I was motivated to volunteer by the polite and cheerful attitude of the Brigg shop staff whenever I visited as a customer; I really felt like I could become part of the team as they were so kind and friendly.
I decided that I would like to offer my support, and help the charity spread awareness and raise money to help people to get the care they need.
Sue Ryder is an incredible charity and I am glad I have been volunteering with them for eight years. When I started, I knew Sue Ryder had hospices and care centres, and since then I’ve got to know a lot more what the charity does, like bereavement care for people who have lost their loved ones. I tell everyone what we do at Sue Ryder because I’m proud of our work.
I love giving my time to raise money for the charity, and I like to think of new ways to do this, such as by planting flowers in tins or pots to sell to raise funds.
When I first started volunteering, my main role was sorting through donations and getting stock ready to be priced. I have found some fabulous donations – some of the best ones have been Radley handbags which we can get a good price for to raise money for Sue Ryder.
"The first time I answered the phone and was able to talk without stuttering felt great!"
Working at Sue Ryder has really helped me build up my confidence.
For a long time, I didn't have the confidence to answer the phone. Now, in my eighth year, I've finally got up the courage to help customers with enquiries when they ring up – say, about Gift Aid or where to drop off donations.
To get to this point, I had lots of encouragement from my Shop Manager Sarah-Jayne; she said I could do it and believed in me. The first time I answered the phone and was able to talk without stuttering, it felt great! It’s been perfect as it has helped me progress further as a volunteer.
I now have the confidence to answer the phone politely and professionally, and it's all down to Sarah-Jayne who has stood by encouraging me and improving my confidence.
What does the future hold?
With this being my eighth year, I am now Lead Volunteer and I am loving doing more to help the charity.
My role now involves running the Brigg store Facebook page, opening the shop and leading the team so we’re all able to work well together and the shop is run as efficiently as possible. I recruit volunteers for our shop and other shops in our area, and I love speaking to customers and making sure they are all right or if they need any help.
I have also completed an NVQ in Customer Service at Derby College through Sue Ryder. I enjoyed doing the course and I think my customer service has improved since I completed the course.
The staff and volunteers at the Brigg store are all amazing people and I love working with the team.
I feel like I will never leave Sue Ryder as it is an amazing charity, and all the staff and volunteers have helped me a lot with my confidence and social skills.
Could you be our next volunteer?
There are loads of fantastic retail roles available – from Sales Assistants and Furniture Specialists to Vintage Enthusiasts or Bookworms – so there's bound to something up your street.
Lead Volunteer - Brigg shop
Jason has been volunteering at our Brigg store in North Lincolnshire for the past eight years. He says he "will never leave Sue Ryder because they are such an amazing charity".