Thursday 10th March, 2022

More than just a charity shop

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More than just a charity shop

Romsey Mill’s Charity Shop is located on Mill Road opposite The Black Cat Cafe and serves the local community of Romsey and beyond, whilst raising vital funds for Romsey Mill’s work with children, young people and families. 

Our team of volunteers is vital to the running of the shop and ranges from young people completing their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, supervised by Liz Diamond, the Shop Development Worker, to our lovely Jean who turned 90 before Christmas.

People offer their time to volunteer for many different reasons, in most cases to give back to the community. For some people, working in the Charity Shop proves to be a bit of a lifeline for them.

Andrew* (not his real name) has been volunteering with us for over 3 years. He started tentatively with just an hour or two a week. We built up his confidence by getting him to try longer sessions and set him a small new challenge each week.

Andrew had a fear of getting something wrong, and we worked with him to make sure that he understood that nothing he did would be detrimental to the shop and reassured him that he is supported by the team. He started to try new things and learn new skills. He went from sorting out DVDs, to labelling them, to overseeing the computer games and consoles, pricing of them and discussing them with customers.

Showing a real talent in serving customers, Andrew managed the COVID restrictions when numbers were limited within the shop and then moved on to serving at the till. Andrew has continued to thrive as part of the volunteer team wanting to work four shifts a week, telling jokes and caring for others he works with. Several members of the team have experienced poor mental health and he has encouraged them along talking about his own experiences in order to help them.

Andrew is currently unable to work but we look forward to having him back as part of the team very soon as there is a huge gap when he’s not in the shop. He often says that the shop has saved his life but actually his ability to rise to the challenges the Charity Shop brings has built his confidence and raised his well-being. We are grateful to all our volunteers for all their hard work