Charity shop is in need of volunteers

RSPCA shop Eastwood
RSPCA shop Eastwood

An RSPCA charity shop has opened up in Eastwood, and local hairdressers are competing to see who can raise the most amount for them.

Charity shop manager Anthony Smith thought it would be a good idea to have money tins in the Best Cut salon and The Stag Barbershop to generate some income for the shop and raise awareness that they are there.

“I wanted to come up with an idea to help the shop raise money” Mr Smith said.

“I’ve been a shop manager for more than 20 years and I’m used to having to come up with ideas of ways to promote a company.

“I thought it would be something a bit unusual, and there are always lots of people going in and out of the hairdressers.”

Mr Smith said business had been slow since opening on September 12.

“We’ve not been doing very well. I think the location doesn’t help because we’re at the bottom end of town.

“It’s slowly picking up but I just don’t think people know we are here.”

The new shop manager said he desperately needed staff.

“I thought with it being the RSPCA more people would have come forward. I’m really struggling for volunteers.

“I thought people would be queuing up but they’re not.

“Even if people could just give a couple of hours here and there,” he added.

Mr Smith said the opportunity to volunteer at a charity shop was a good one and came with many benefits.

“It’s a great chance to get back into work. If there are perhaps are mums out there who have been out of work for ten years it’s a great way to ease themselves back into work.

“It’s a great starting point for people wanting to get into retail. In the past I have given people experience looking after the shop in my absence which has hugely helped them get their next job.

“Also I find there are a lot of lonely people out there, and I know I was very lonely when I was out of work.

“It’s a good atmosphere to work in, and as long as people leave feeling better about themselves then I’m happy,” he said.

Mr Smith said the till was very easy to use, he offers to pay bus fares depending on hours worked, and is also looking at offering NVQ training and qualifications.

Mr Smith has previously managed other charity shops and also pound shop, but says the comradery in a charity shop was hard to beat.

“I like the comradery in charity shops – you just don’t get that anywhere else.

“The staff are there because they want to be there and that makes a big difference.”

The manager said his shop only sold the best quality items.

“It’s a really nice quality shop,” he said.

“It’s a boutique style shop. I only sell the best stuff. We had a lady in last week saying she had lived in Eastwood all her life, and said what a lovely shop it was. She said the staff had made her feel so welcome. That was worth it’s weight in gold to me.”

Mr Smith said donations were coming in, but he could with more mens clothes and electrical items.