Community-minded volunteers have the chance to learn new skills, gain qualifications and give themselves a springboard into full-time employment. Staff at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) shop in Dovercourt’s Main Road are on the lookout for extra help in the afternoons and Saturday mornings. There are a variety of roles available and they are particularly keen to hear from anyone interested in becoming a till operator.
Shop manager Emma Manning said that in return, volunteers will gain personal pride and satisfaction from helping such a worthy cause. And she believes lending a hand can boost people’s confidence and self-esteem, as well as providing an opportunity to gain qualifications that may lead to employment.
“From my experience, people get so much from volunteering,” she said. “I’ve worked with some who have absolutely flown in terms of personal development, going from a severe lack of confidence to relishing being around people and serving on the till. It’s helped them go on to find full-time employment. People also learn new skills, make friends and enjoy the companionship of working as part of a team. We’re able to nurture them and some welcome the routine it provides. It gives a sense of purpose, without being too challenging.
“For some, it’s also a chance to gain new qualifications and there are various ones available, from retail diplomas to a customer service NVQ. I believe that if we invest in our volunteers then they will invest in us.”
While mornings are generally covered, there is a particular need to extra help in the afternoons and Saturday mornings. “Afternoons have got much busier for us, especially around the school run time to closing time,” added Emma. “That’s when we badly need extra help, in addition to Saturday mornings. People don’t even need to give up their whole afternoon. They could do something like 12pm until 3pm or 2pm until 5pm. We’re always pleased to welcome anyone and grateful for extra help.
“There are a variety of roles available, depending on their skills and interests. However, the area we most need help with is operating the till and that’s a lovely job to have – ideal for someone with a bubbly personality and customer-orientated approach.
“Dovercourt is a small, friendly community town and we have lots of familiar faces and regular customers. It’s a very welcoming environment. The more help we have, the more we can get involved in local community events as they’re great fun and make a huge difference to the local community. That’s always our aim and in the past year our team have participated in a charity football match and the Harwich Guy Carnival, organised by the Rotary Club of Harwich and Dovercourt.”
To find out more about volunteering in Dovercourt, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Emma on 01255 442707.