‘I’ve been volunteering for over 20 years’

Oxfam is on the frontline of some of the biggest humanitarian crises of all time. Right now, we’re helping thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by providing clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, essential food and emergency supplies.

Our shop volunteers make this life saving work possible – their importance to our work cannot be overstated.  We want you to meet them.

Long term volunteer Frances Chatfield tells Neil Paterson, manager of Oxfam Books and Music in Stirling about why she gives her time to Oxfam.

How long have you volunteered and what is your role?

I have been a volunteer for over 20 years in Stirling and Edinburgh. My principal task is pricing books and my favourite sections are literature and art. My working life was spent as a librarian and it was an obvious move on retiring to continue doing something connected with books. I saw an advert for volunteers to help in one of the first Oxfam bookshops in Scotland and I have been working for the charity ever since, mainly in the Stirling store.

What is the most interesting donation you have come across?

One of the most exciting donations I have come across was a collection of first edition Ian Fleming novels which were part of a personal library gifted by a supporter of Oxfam. One of the novels was sold for over £2000 to a bookseller in London who was later accused of stealing it. The police in Chelsea got involved and I was able to confirm that the London dealer was the rightful owner. It could have come straight out of one of Fleming’s books!

What would you say to encourage others to volunteer?

I would certainly recommend volunteering as I have made some good friends throughout my time at Oxfam as well as helping to raise funds for all their projects abroad.

(In the photo Frances is holding a Folio Editions slipcase of Evelyn Waugh’s “Comedies”, yours for £90!)