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'Volunteer Opportunities' in the window of a charity shop.

(35 Posts)
Kendodd Fri 28-Sep-12 12:59:31

This seems to have replaced the 'can you spare a few hours to volunteer in our shop' signs.

When did we stop doing them a favour by working there and they start doing us a favour by letting us?

redwineformethanks Fri 28-Sep-12 13:01:41

Perhaps they're trying to emphasise that volunteering could be classed as work experience which might help someone to get into paid employment?

Trills Fri 28-Sep-12 13:02:00

"Volunteer opportunities" is shorter and so they can have it in a larger font.

MumsGoToReykjavik Fri 28-Sep-12 13:02:28

I really don't think it is a case of "doing them a favour" confused

At some point in all our lives it is almost certain that we or our family/friends will be touched by some form of tragedy or misfortune. Perhaps when we are "doing a favour" (horrible way to put it) to a cancer research/homelessness/animal welfare/insert whatever charity shop then we are making sure we are doing a tiny tiny bit to ensure that they will be around to help us or our family in the future.

Kendodd Fri 28-Sep-12 13:03:07

It's not as short as 'volunteers needed'

exoticfruits Fri 28-Sep-12 13:04:49

Lots of people want the opportunity to go on their CV- to more importantly to move onto a paid job. It really isn't about having a few spare hours any more and they reflect this.

Viviennemary Fri 28-Sep-12 13:05:15

YANBU. I saw one with apply for those vacancies. And some cards showing their vacancies. No pay of course. This comes over as a bit cheeky I think and perhaps they need to rethink the wording.. Nobody minds ones like 'wanted a book sorter' or somebody to do Wednesday afternoons. It's this we have a vacancy that does jar a bit. I think it's only one or two shops that do this.

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 13:05:41

It does seem to be the route back into paid employment these days.... And my dd and her classmates were all after a similar opportunity to work in one of these shops to go towards her duke of Edinburgh award

complexnumber Fri 28-Sep-12 13:05:42

Surely you volunteer as it is a cause you believe in, not because you think you are doing them a favour.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 28-Sep-12 13:06:34

Doing volunteer work can be very rewarding and looks great on a CV.

I think signs like this acknowledge that. No good deed is entirely selfless, the volunteer always has something to gain from it. People wouldn't do it otherwise. I say that as someone who does a lot of volunteering.

I don't think volunteers are doing anyone a favour. They are getting involved and helping others, but they are taking just as much back. When people approach the charity I help to run they aren't doing it as a favour to me or the rest of the committee members, and we work hard to ensure that our beneficiaries don't get made to feel like 'charity cases' as well. Our volunteers are there because they want to be, not because they are doing us a favour. We aren't doing them a favour either, but I do believe that their lives are enriched by working with us.

missymoomoomee Fri 28-Sep-12 13:14:16

It is an oppourtunity though, I do a fair bit of volunteer work, It looks good on my cv, I have been on some training courses and have a big trip next year in connection to one of the charities, I meet interesting people, the list of plus points for me goes on and on. I have also been interviewed and CRB checked for the roles I do, I don't begrudge it at all, they need to make sure they get reliable people who fully understand the position, there is no point giving the oppourtunity to someone who can't be bothered after a week or calls in sick all the time because they decide they can't be bothered.

RichTeas Fri 28-Sep-12 13:17:33

It's a sign of the weak labour market. Charities have become very selective about "volunteer recruitment" across the board and often interview and shortlist for roles they have available.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 13:19:09

I do a couple of volunteer things

it benefits the volunteers as much as the charity! for all different reasons, CVs, uni work, dissertations, socialising, keeping active, keeping fit..... noone does it who doesn't want to do it for some sort of personal/selfish reason! even if its just keeping busy post retirement!

I would call it an opportunity!

I've been short listed for interview on the back of some of my volunteering and it's given me something good to chat about in the interviews, Another one of my volunteering things is environmental, so its a good way to exercise for free with company!

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 13:20:28

also I'm not entitled to free adult education because I have a degree and am not on benefits, but in the local area volunteering qualifies you for some free courses which would cost me at least £70 otherwise! these are things I need to keep up to date with for my job hunting like safeguarding study days and first aid etc

RobotLover68 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:22:37

Doing volunteer work can be very rewarding



until I started volunteering I didn't realise this, I'm still volunteering 15 years later

comedycentral Fri 28-Sep-12 13:22:45

They are doing people a favour though, it costs to recruit, train and supervise volunteers. Free training is given, crb's carried out the list is endless. Some places give volunteers their travel expenses back too.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 13:28:38

and every now and then they have people as volunteers who cause them more work than they do IYKWIM, so they are sometimes providing a sort of social service!

Paiviaso Fri 28-Sep-12 14:34:53

I think whether it is an opportunity depends who you are.

I volunteer on Sundays at a farm. This is very much an opportunity for me, because I want to start working in agriculture but have no experience. Volunteering allows me to build skills that are really going to strengthen my CV.

If I volunteered at a charity shop, it would not be an opportunity. I don't need it on my CV, and I could definitely find more interesting things to do with my time. If I did it, it would be goodwill.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 14:44:06

goodwill = feelgood factor

its not just about CVs, its an oportunity to increase your well being, to widen your social interractions etc

there's no such thing as true altruism, whether you think it'll help you get into heaven or whatever, there's always something in it for the volunteer

MrsKeithRichards Fri 28-Sep-12 14:49:07

I recruit volunteers through my work and it is an opportunity. We offer people an opportunity to find out more, apply and attend an interview. If successful we offer them the opportunity to work with us.

And guess what? Sometimes we say no to people.

Kendodd Fri 28-Sep-12 15:01:11

My point is that this seems to riding on the back of internships and the whole idea that you have to not only spend a fortune going to university but then have to do year of unpaid work in the hope of one day getting a job. Instead of just helping out in a charity shop they are now giving you a step up onto the career ladder as it seems without it people have no chance of getting a foothold. It really grates on me that charity shops seem to be trying to exploit this by framing shop work in this way. Although maybe if all the pensioners are pushed out by future Alan Sugars the shops will make more money for the charities they fund.

I think working in a charity shop is hugely valuable for both parties, but it should be just that, not a first step on the career ladder.

I know before anyone tells me, nobody died and made me king.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 15:05:02

do you do any voluntary work OP?

Kendodd Fri 28-Sep-12 15:12:32

Yes I do.

I have just stepped down as chair of the pre-school. I also volunteer at a breast feeding cafe and I treat homeless peoples feet in a shelter. I don't work though.

porcamiseria Fri 28-Sep-12 15:14:57

aww at ken dodd, esp the feet/ thats v kind

Kendodd Fri 28-Sep-12 15:15:46

If you are going to ask what I get out of it, well...

The pre-school was a fucking nightmare, worse most thankless thing I have ever taken on in my life. The breastfeeding cafe and homeless shelter are nice though, although I do wear a mask and gloves while treating feet.

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