David retired on a Friday, having spent 40 years working as an engineer. The following Monday morning, he swapped the factory floor for the Oxfam shop floor, beginning a new journey in volunteering at our Music shop on Glasgow’s Byres Road.
Seven years on, he hasn’t looked back. Here, David shares his experience of volunteering with Oxfam.
When I retired, I knew I needed something to occupy my time more than just my passion for walking to break up the weeks and years ahead. Then I had a lightbulb moment, remembering Oxfam’s music shop in Glasgow. It seemed the obvious place to turn to as both a lifelong Oxfam supporter and a lifelong music fan.
Applying was easy and I was able to start as soon as I finished up at work.
My duties over the years have been working the cash desk, occasionally opening the shop in the morning, grading and pricing donations, which can in the case of this shop include CDs, 7″ and 12″ inch vinyl records, cassettes, musical instruments, sheet music, and music related books and magazines.
Signing customers up to the Gift Aid scheme is always an important part of the job on the shop floor, as is making sure donations are Gift Aided where appropriate, allowing Oxfam to claim 25% tax back from the government which amounts to a substantial sum. More recently I have been working behind the scenes, listing CDs on the Oxfam Online Shop and selling CDs and DVDs that haven’t sold in the shop to an online company.
The best part of volunteering is the people you meet, who range in age from secondary school children and students to pensioners like myself. The annual Oxfam Christmas night out is always a great event and a chance to meet volunteers who work on other days.
It’s also a thrill when you discover that an ordinary looking CD can at times be worth as much as £100 or when a famous face pops into the store. I once served Jimmie McGregor, of Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor fame, buying a good condition copy of one of his own albums!
To anyone thinking of volunteering at Oxfam, where we raise money for such a worthwhile cause, I would say “give it a go – you’ll love being part of the Oxfamily!”
Want to become an Oxfam volunteer? Register your interest online or pop into your nearest Oxfam shop today.