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Charity Retail Awards 2014

Charity Retail Awards 2014

We are absolutely thrilled that one of our volunteers has won Volunteer of the Year at the Charity Retail Awards 2014.

Brian Stalley has been volunteering in DEBRA’s Send shop for the last 15 years. Three times a week he walks two and half miles to the shop and then home again to fulfil his volunteering – he does this with his faithful guide dog and companion, Justin, as Brian is visually impaired. Brian is involved in all aspects of running a successful shop, pricing clothes, sorting clothes and bric-a-brac, processing sales and helping customers. Brian is always cheerful and extremely passionate and committed to DEBRA – Brian and Justin are valued members of the team.

Brian tells us why he enjoys volunteering: “I began volunteering with DEBRA in September 1999 and have been helping out at the shop three days a week ever since. A friend of the family encouraged me to apply as I was looking for work and thought that volunteering would be the perfect way to boost my CV.

“Before I started volunteering I was really nervous, but volunteering has increased my confidence enormously. One of the things I enjoy most is the social interaction that I get with both the staff and the customers.

“I’ve always tried to adapt to and overcome any challenges that I’ve faced in the shop. Having volunteered in the shop for 15 years, I know my way around and have learned how to work things in a way that suits me; even the till, which I found a real challenge. The shop manager is very helpful and accommodating.

“My advice to anyone who is considering volunteering with DEBRA is definitely to give it a go! You don’t have anything to loose; if anything you have lots to gain. Volunteering is good fun and really boosts your confidence. If I can volunteer with my visual impairment, then anyone can do it."

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