Glen Arkadieff/Oxfam

Vanessa, regular volunteer at the Pimlico Oxfam shop
Vanessa, regular volunteer at the Pimlico Oxfam shop

Lead volunteer

As a lead volunteer, you will assist the shop manager in leading, managing and planning for the development of a shop team.


Oxfam is a global movement of millions of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn't inevitable. We respond fast in emergencies, work on long-term projects with communities and campaign for genuine, lasting change. Our volunteers, staff and those we aim to influence are all guided by our values of empowerment, accountability and inclusiveness.

Our Shops

With a network of over 500 shops, our diverse volunteers play an integral role in championing Oxfam’s value, running the shops and promoting our life saving work to the wider community.

Through the sales of donated goods and our ethical range of new products, Sourced by Oxfam, our shops raise millions of pound each year to fund our crucial work to end the injustice of poverty.

Oxfam shops are at the forefront in campaigning for sustainable fashion. Since it opened in 1974, all donated clothing items that do not sell in our shops are brought into our Wastesaver warehouse, where they are sorted and sent to various retail channels such as festival shops, specialist boutiques or Oxfam’s Online Shop.

Why do we need you?

Our shops would not be able to raise crucial funds for Oxfam’s emergency and development work all over the world without our dedicated volunteers, who provide their time and bring multitude of skills. In return, we offer personal development, valuable insight into charity retail and a friendly environment to meet new people.

You can watch our volunteering video here.

What are your key responsibilities?

As a lead volunteer, you will assist the shop manager in leading, managing and planning for the development of a shop team. You may be involved in:

  • Opening, closing and managing the shop in the shop manager’s absence.
  • Supervising volunteers and ensuring safeguarding and health and safety policies are adhered to and acted on as appropriate, reporting any concerns.
  • Effectively delegating responsibilities and coaching individuals and teams.
  • Maximising the income from donations, Sourced by Oxfam and Gift Aid.
  • Ensuring that shop activities reflect Oxfam values and beliefs.
  • Promoting our exciting sustainable fashion campaigns such as ‘Second-Hand September’.
  • Keeping up to date with Oxfam’s internal communications and sharing any news with the shop team to ensure compliance with current requirements.

What skills and experience are we looking for?

You do not need specific skills and experience, but the following will be useful:

  • Commitment to Oxfam’s values of empowerment, accountability and inclusiveness.
  • Ability to work within Oxfam’s policies and shop guidelines.
  • Enthusiastic and committed to achieving shop aims and objectives and motivating others.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with the shop manager and the shop team.
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and under own initiative.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Friendly and approachable.
  • Ability to deal in a tactful and professional manner with confidential information and sensitive situations.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel and the willingness to learn.

What will you gain from this opportunity?

  • You will be joining thousands of volunteers who “won’t live with poverty”.
  • Learn about Oxfam’s humanitarian, development and campaigning work.
  • Opportunity to utilise and develop your transferable skills.
  • Opportunity to gain and or improve your customer service, management, leadership and interpersonal skills.
  • Ongoing training to provide you the level of responsibility as a shop manager in relation to volunteer and shop management.
  • Gain valuable insight into volunteer and shop management.
  • Opportunity to gain nationally recognised NVQ qualifications in customer service, warehousing, retail and management.
  • Lunch and local travel expenses can be reimbursed in line with Oxfam’s policy and references can be provided to future employers.

Young people and this role

We are proud of having a diverse volunteer base made up of people from different backgrounds and ages. The minimum age for this role is 18. This role may involve supervision of volunteers who are under 18. You will therefore be required to agree to an enhanced DBS check. You can find out more information about safeguarding policies on our website.

Learning Opportunities

We will provide you with ongoing support and training throughout your volunteering:

  • Full induction
  • Health and Safety
  • Safeguarding
  • Data Protection and compliance

COVID-19 considerations

Shop till areas have protective screens. All shop teams are provided with PPE masks and gloves, hand sanitising stations are on shop floor and in back areas of the shop. Social distancing markers are visible on the shop floor.

What’s next?

Once you submit your application, and suitable references are gathered, you will meet with the shop manager for an informal interview. You will then receive a full induction and all the essential training and learning and begin working closely with the shop and deputy manager to successfully lead and manage the shop and volunteers. Thank you very much for your interesting in volunteering with us. We look forward to having you in our team.

Application process

Search for volunteering opportunities near you and apply online

Application deadline:


Interview date:

The shop manager will contact you as soon as possible and will arrange a convenient time for you to visit the shop and have a chat about volunteering.

Start date:

As soon as you have had an initial chat with the shop manager and after receipt of suitable references, you can arrange a start date.