Recruitment drive launched after numbers declined during the pandemic
RSPCA Victoria is urgently seeking 350 new volunteers to help run its network of op shops – including a new store opening in Bayswater this month – after volunteer numbers plummeted during the pandemic.
Nadine Hutchins, the organisation’s Volunteer Program Manager, said the animal charity relies on op shops to help fund its work caring for and protecting animals and is currently short of volunteers.
“RSPCA Victoria relies on fantastic volunteers but, like many charities, our volunteer numbers dropped off during the pandemic,” said Ms Hutchins.
“We’ve launched a campaign to recruit 350 new volunteers this year to help us run our op shops and we’re looking for people aged 18 years and over from all walks of life.”
Shifts are available at op shops in Bendigo, Burwood East, Ferntree Gully, Mildura, Mornington, Portland and Traralgon, plus a new store in Bayswater opening this month at 716 Mountain Highway.
Op shop volunteers receive full training and perform a range of tasks including customer service, sorting goods and merchandising. They also get access to other RSPCA Victoria perks like a 30% discount at its pet retail stores. Volunteers are asked to commit to regular four-hour shifts where possible; however casual volunteering is also appreciated.
“Volunteering at an op shop is really rewarding and also fun – people do it for a variety of reasons, including to gain work experience, improve their English skills, make friends, get some social interaction and to make a difference in the community,” said Stephanie Neill, RSPCA Victoria’s Retail and Ecommerce Manager.
“Volunteering is flexible, looks great on your resume and is a nice way to connect with others while doing something meaningful. We do train people and support them, but we also find that a lot of our vollies already have relevant skills and experience they’ve gained from their work.”
“The volunteers in RSPCA Victoria’s op shops often join for the community benefit the role provides and find they stay for companionship and the social connections they’ve made with people they wouldn’t have met otherwise.” “After a challenging couple of years, we’re looking for people with a few hours to spare each week or each fortnight who love their community and are passionate about helping animals in need. RSPCA Victoria cares for over 14,000 animals every year and by volunteering in our op shops you can make a real difference for them.”
RSPCA recognises that volunteering isn’t suitable for everyone, and there are other ways to support the organisation’s op shops. Purchasing from their treasure trove of unique goods and bargains and donations of high-quality items for sale by the shops can also have big impact.