Tia Sharp, aged 15, joined Shaw Trust’s Urmston charity shop as a volunteer in October last year to gain public service experience as part of her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Although Tia has now completed all of the hours she needs to complete this element of her award, she continues to volunteer with Shaw Trust.
A keen hockey player, horse rider and dog lover, Tia provides vital customer service on the shop floor on Saturdays, helps to ensure the wide range of stock is displayed in the best way, puts out stock and helps out on the till when required.
Tia has ambitions of becoming a dog handler in the RAF and from Monday to Friday is at school studying for her GCSEs in Geography, History, PE, RE, English, Science and Maths, but come Saturdays Tia is brightening up the lives of the customers in Urmston’s Shaw Trust charity shop.
“My confidence has really grown while I have been here, I love meeting new people and I have got to know many of the ‘regulars’.”
Tia went on to say why she feels volunteering is important for young people. “I’ve gained really useful experience of working in a retail shop. For young people who might be a bit afraid of the world of work and feel they need to build their confidence and gain work experience, volunteering can really help”.
The manager of the Urmston store, Catherine Thompson, is delighted with Tia’s progress and feels she makes a vital contribution on busy Saturdays. Catherine said, “Tia is a lovely girl, gets on with everyone and the regular customers have really got to know her.
The eight young people who volunteer in the store as part of Duke of Edinburgh are great to have around, they help create a cheery atmosphere and encourage customers into the shop. They are really enthusiastic and are always looking for something to do. In turn, I feel we are able to teach them about the retail business ; the terminology, stock rotation and cash handling.
I value all 16 of my volunteers who range in age from 15-70 , each volunteer brings something special.”
Shaw Trust supports volunteers at both ends of the age spectrum (and everyone in between) and encourages young people with an interest in retailing and customer service to get involved in volunteering at one of their 50 charity shops across the UK.
Tia sums up her experience at the Urmston shop, “Exhilarating, with a great variety of jobs to do and people to meet!”.
Volunteers are at the heart of everything Shaw Trust do.
If you are between 14 and 16 years old there are volunteering opportunities under the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Please contact us directly for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab or window)
or call us on 0300 247 2222 between 9am and 5pm.
For more information about volunteering with Shaw Trust and to complete an online application form, please visit our website here: www.shaw-trust.org.uk/en-GB/Get-involved/Volunteering (opens in new tab or window)