This summer, I have been volunteering at the PDSA charity shop in my local area. I wanted to do some regular volunteering to keep me busy and to give something back (even if I’m not the biggest fan of animals!). I volunteer twice a week on the shop floor taking payments, tidying the rails, restocking items and (my favourite task of all) putting the books in alphabetic order. For those who are unaware of the work that PDSA does, we provide free veterinary care for the pets of people in need, as well as wellbeing checks for dogs and an education programme with plenty of resources to educate the public about how to care for their pets to prevent illnesses and promote the welfare needs of pets.
But to do all of this, we need money as vets, equipment, medicines, collars, printing and shop costs like electricity and rent all costs money ££££. Along with other charity shops, at PDSA we rely on donations from the public to make money in our shops and we are always accepting donations (Mon – Sat 9am – 5pm – please don’t leave bags outside stores). Through donations from people like you, yes you, we can help to generate more income to help pets and their owners live happily together.
Our stores accept a range of items that fit into our departments – Womenswear, Menswear, Kidswear, Shoes & Accessories, CDs, DVDs & Books, Toys & Games, Bric-a-brac, Linen and also small pieces of furniture such as small cupboards, hamper baskets and photo frames. As long as it’s in good condition and suitable for someone to use again, we’ll aim to get it out on the shop floor. Right now, we have a Vet Your Clothes campaign, as research has shown that 56% of Brits have bought clothes in the past 12 months that we’ve never worn. So if a year has passed and you haven’t worn it, it’s unlikely that you will.
Before working at PDSA, I didn’t think clothes would sell well in a charity shop, but most of the sales I make are second hand clothes. I’ve also bought several tops myself from PDSA – working hazard – including this one I wore out for dinner with my friends last night.
Our menswear sections is very small and many men are disappointed to see such a small section, so if you have any mens trousers, shorts, belts, ties or tops that you don’t wear any more because you’ve changed shape, you don’t like the colour or whatever reason – please donate them. Summer dresses are selling well at the moment as well as children’s toys and games as the summer holidays have just started.
As well as donating, you can help charities by shopping in charity shops. We sell all sorts and you’d be surprised at what you can find. In the PDSA Walsgave store, we’ve currently got acrylic paints, Elvis salt and pepper shakers and books on Wizardology and Dragonology just to name a few off the top of my head.
Our stock is rotated on a fortnightly basis, so items don’t get donated and left to gather dust. We bring out new items each day.
But as some of the customers have said to me, you can’t just have it one way. If you bring in a bag of donations, stop for a quick browse to see if there’s anything that catches your eye. Many of our regular customers already do, but in order to carry on providing the services we do, we need new donations, new volunteers and new customers.
If you want some more information about PDSA and to find your nearest store to donate your unwanted clothes to, see our official website or to see some cute pictures and stories of animals we’ve helped on the road to recovery, check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page. You can also send me an email and I’d be happy to give you more information about what it’s like as a volunteer or ways to help.