A charity shop worker who got his foot on the employment ladder after volunteering is encouraging other job seekers to do the same.
Mark Frost, who works at the British Heart Foundation shop on Mill Street, said volunteering at the shop is a practical way to get experience, as well as doing a good turn for people with time on their hands.
Mark, who has worked at the shop for three months and volunteered for six weeks, said: “I was out of work so just started volunteering to get something on my CV, I enjoyed it so much I stayed for a bit longer, and then they offered me a job.”
The shop is appealing for as many volunteers as possible to join the team, whether you are looking for experience or have some spare time to donate to the cause.
Mark, 31, from Congleton, added: “I really enjoy it. If you are out of work it can be quite boring and frustrating because you are just applying for jobs all day, so this is a really good way to make use of your time and get experience.
“They give you all the training you need and it’s fun, so it’s worth doing, it’s really valuable experience.
“You don’t have to have qualifications or experience.”
Mark added that it’s not only jobseekers who can benefit from volunteering, which is a rewarding job in itself.
He said: “Our volunteers are at the heart of the charity and we simply wouldn’t be able to continue our lifesaving work without them. Volunteering in our shop can also be a great way to get involved in the local community, make friends and learn new skills.
“We are currently in desperate need of more helping hands in our shop to assist customers with purchases, receive stock donations and raise awareness of the charity’s work .
“We also need help behind the scenes preparing donated clothing, books and bric-a-brac ready for the shop floor.
“At the moment there are only eight volunteers in our shop team and we urgently need more help.”
If anyone is interested in getting involved, pop into the shop at 71 Mill Street for a chat, or call on 01625 511958 to find out more.