Volunteers “amazing and crucial” to op shop

The Hospice Shop Bond Street volunteers (from left) Christine Buess, Gillian Newman, Chris Cross and Reza Ahmadi in the op shop in central Dunedin last week.

Volunteers are a “crucial” part of a Dunedin op shop, its manager says.

The Hospice Shop Bond Street manager Cat Callanan said the shop’s volunteers were “amazing” and “crucial” to the running of the op shop in central Dunedin.

“We couldn’t do it without volunteers.”

About 45 volunteers worked in the shop, she said.

“We love them all.”

Many of the volunteers stayed long-term because it was a fun place to work.

International Volunteer Day is on December 5.

Shop volunteer Chris Cross, of Woodhaugh, said she had been volunteering for four hours a week at the shop since it opened about seven years ago.

She volunteered at the shop because she enjoyed dealing with the type of items it sold and meeting the people who shopped there.

“I enjoy the social aspect of it and it’s all for a good cause.”

She also volunteered once a week in the cruise ship season at the i-Site in the Octagon, answering questions from tourists.

A man who visited the i-Site the other day had asked her where he might be able to buy an antique hurricane lamp and she had directed him to the op shop for a look.

Shop volunteer Christine Buess, of North East Valley, said she began volunteering in the shop in February.

Raising money for a charity was a “really good way to give back to the community”, Ms Buess, who volunteers on Thursday afternoons, said.

“The hospice is all about community, isn’t it?”

The work was the first volunteering she had done.

The store was like any op shop in that someone might come in wanting to to buy a shoe rack but none were in stock, but the following week, there would be seven racks and no buyers.

Shop volunteer Gillian Newman, of Maori Hill, said she started volunteering at the shop on Thursday afternoons because “the hospice is important to me”.

She also volunteered at Ross Home, visiting a resident to provide company.

She also did regular “stints” of volunteer work for the publishing arm of the Iona Community Christian community working for peace and social justice island in Scotland.

Shop volunteer Reza Ahmadi, formerly of Afghanistan, began working in the shop about five months ago.

“I like to help,” Mr Ahmadi said.