Volunteers are at the heart of charity shops who would not be able to operate without them. We recognise this every year with our Martin Kenny Volunteer of the Year Award, in memory of Martin who was a founding member of our Association and the Head of Retail for NCBI.
Over 6,000 people volunteered in charity shops in 2022, which is an amazing figure given the effects of the pandemic on many of them. In previous years this number has been higher and we hope that 2023 will see more people volunteering in our members’ shops.
Many charity shops rely on the valuable work done by workers through the Community Employment and TUS schemes. This was especially true in 2022 as some shops struggled to recruit new volunteers. However, due to full employment, it is often difficult to attract people to join these schemes. Many who do often go on to become paid members of staff and, in some cases, shop managers. CE and TUS schemes create valuable opportunities for those who are distant from the labour force.
Of the 784 people employed, nearly half were shop managers who were generally full time, with slightly more full time Assistant Managers than part time. 100 people fell into the Other category. This category encompasses stockroom assistants, warehouse managers, van drivers and online and digital assistants. As the charity retail sector grows these support staff will grow in number and importance.
The equivalent employee value in financial terms came to a massive €60.3 million with volunteers contributing €28.5million. An amazing figure considering our turnover was €65.5million.