Oxfam is getting ready to open its stores across Scotland as lockdown restrictions ease
A charity has launched a drive for volunteers as it prepares to reopen its shops.
Oxfam has issued an urgent appeal for volunteers to help its high street shops deal with an anticipated deluge of donations as it prepares to re-open its 41 Scottish stores from Monday 26 April.
Oxfam says that sales from the first day of trading following the re-opening of its English and Welsh shops were up 77% on 2019 figures, with it being the most successful Monday ever sales wise for the organisation outwith Christmas periods.
Scottish shop teams are now bracing for a significant number of donations following lockdown decluttering, combined with people seeking to offload unwanted Christmas gifts.
However, the charity says it has a shortfall of hundreds of volunteers in Scotland with some existing volunteers currently unable to return due to shielding. More volunteers are needed to help sort and sell the donations in order to raise as much money as possible for Oxfam’s vital work around the world.
Tom Richardson, Oxfam's interim head of retail, said: “The money raised by the dedicated staff and volunteers in Oxfam’s Scottish shops helps fight poverty and injustice around the world; providing people with lifesaving essentials like clean water and soap as well as the hope of a better future.
“We know from the last lockdown that people will have taken the chance to have a good declutter and we’re anticipating a deluge of generous donations. As we prepare to get back to business in a Covid-safe way we’re encouraging people from all walks of life who want to live in a fairer, more sustainable world to consider giving one of the greatest gifts of all: their time.”
Volunteers are asked to as little as a few hours a week of their time and can take up a range of vital roles, from serving customers to sorting donations and arranging window displays. Each shop typically relies on a team of 30 dedicated volunteers and one or two staff, with more than 1,400 volunteers required across the country.
As well as volunteers, Oxfam is also appealing for good quality donations, including clothing, books, music and bric-a-brac.
Richardson said: “People across Scotland have always been generous in their support of Oxfam’s shops, whether through shopping, donating or volunteering and we’re looking forward to safely welcoming people back through our doors. Given the volume of donations we’re anticipating, our stores promise to be treasure troves of gems for savvy, sustainable shoppers.”
Protecting staff, volunteers, and customers from Covid-19 remains Oxfam’s priority, with shop teams continuing to implement strict protocol, including social distancing, readily available hand sanitiser, masks and gloves for staff, screens at tills, regular and frequent cleaning, closed changing rooms and encouraging contactless payment.