Jersey charity shops see fall in volunteer numbers since Covid

Credit: ITV Channel

Charity shops in Jersey are risking having to close as they suffer from a lack of volunteers.

Many of the island's charity shops have been struggling to get volunteers since the start of the pandemic.

Jane Walters has been volunteering for Jersey Hospice Care for eight years, which she says helps her socialise with the community.

Jane has been volunteering at Jersey Hospice Care for nearly a decade. Credit: ITV Channel

"I just thought it would be nice to give something back, you never know when you need a hospice, my husband was actually in a hospice and that was another reason why I continued to stay on. I love it, it's very sociable, you meet a lot of people."

Although many people take on these roles to help them socialise, since the pandemic there has been a shortage of volunteers as many older islanders are concerned for their health.

Yannick Fillieul, Operations Director at Jersey Hospice Care, said many volunteers are taking their families into consideration before deciding to volunteer.

Yannick Fillieul, Operations Director at Jersey Hospice Care Credit: ITV Channel

"Understandably, that's because some of the volunteers are being a bit more cautious for themselves or for their family members or they are just concerned that just catching Covid in areas where there is a lot more footfall might get in the way of their personal lives if they wanted to travel or visit family away."

It is not only Jersey Hospice Care who are facing a lack of volunteers, they are low throughout the island's charity shop.

Nina Travers says they are at their lowest volunteer level ever at Oxfam, and the charity is starting to get desperate.

"Obviously all the work goes on outside here, where the stuff is prepared for sale in the shop and if we have got nobody out there to be able to do that obviously the shop isn't getting filled up as quickly. If there is nobody there to prepare them for sale then they are not in the shop to be sold."

Nina said staffing levels have never been lower at Oxfam. Credit: ITV Channel

"The people who benefit the most are the people in third world countries, that's where all the money goes to, to support a lot of the projects we run and if we aren't making as much money then they are not going to be getting as much help as well either unfortunately."

In a bid to attract new volunteers to the charity, Jersey Hospice Care are offering taster days for islanders who are interested in getting involved.

"We are more than happy to allow them to have taster sessions, to try in our shops or in reception or other areas where they can volunteer and for some people that gives them the confidence and encouragement to come and volunteer."