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'Volunteering for DEBRA is such a positive experience'

'Volunteering for DEBRA is such a positive experience'

Helen has EB. She volunteers in one of DEBRA’s shops. She writes:

‘Volunteering in the shop is a very varied role, ranging from sorting the donations out, steaming, hanging and tagging garments, putting out stock and dressing it nicely, window dressing and serving customers. My favourite task is sorting the clothes, hanging them and dressing the models in the window and in the store. If you have a well-dressed window people will certainly want to come in and browse, whether they’re entering Harvey Nichols or a DEBRA charity shop.

The people who come in are different every day. It’s difficult for a lot of people to know which charity shop to donate to and I would say it is often down to the staff and volunteers at the shop who make it such a positive experience. We also have lots of regular faces who aren’t just after a bargain but are keen to support people living with EB too. If, like me, you have a passion for shoes, bags or anything shiny, the staff know exactly what has come in and what you might be interested in. 

It really is exciting when people bring in their donations, because it could literally be anything. I am always very impressed with the quality and quantity of donations we get, and touched by the kindness of family, friends, colleagues and people I’ve never met who choose to donate to DEBRA. Before I wrote this article, I asked the other volunteers what donations they remembered most and the answers ranged from a wedding dress to a brand new pair of designer boots to an aerobics power plate and some Aborigine fighting sticks! A shop, especially a charity shop, really is only as good as the items it sells.

People of all ages do their bit in the shop. That’s what makes the working environment such a pleasure – the volunteers want to be there and help make a difference to people living with EB. What is really good about the store is the amount of promotional material about the condition. As I have EB myself it is refreshing to have people wanting to know about the condition; after seeing the leaflets they don’t shy away from asking about it. '

If you would like to volunteer with DEBRA please visit our current opportunities page,  email us or call 01698 424210.

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