Volunteer for Oxfam
Volunteer for Oxfam

6 Reasons to Become a Books Volunteer for Oxfam

Love books and want to help fight poverty? Our volunteers share why they love volunteering in our bookshops and book sections and why you might love it too!

1. You can find a role to suit you

“Love books, but don't want to be behind a till? You can work in the online shop or with the books before they get to the shop floor.” Lesley, Online Selling Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Truro

“If you’re thinking of volunteering, definitely do it! There’s more than one role in the shop that you can do, so there is something for everyone.” Alice, Till, Book sorting and Antiquarian book Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Bath

Give something back and keep busy in retirement

2. It can be as flexible as you need

“When I had to leave work because of poor health, the shop manager's very flexible approach enabled me to volunteer short shifts and build my strength. I genuinely feel appreciated by my colleagues and the customers. When we recognize each other in the street, we give a cheery wave!” Emily, Books Volunteer at Oxfam Shop Blackheath

Develop New Skills and Make Friends

3. You get to meet fellow Bookworms

“You meet such a variety of people looking for all sorts of different books or just browsing” Claire, Bit of Everything Volunteer at Oxfam Shop Pinner

“I love the talk with fellow volunteers. Every Thursday afternoon we put the world to rights. Great fun. Also get advice on good books from the others.” Jane, History & Religion/ Till Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Beeston

Volunteer for Oxfam

4. You can immerse yourself in a world of books

"You get to encounter an enormous variety of books from 17th century esoterica to the latest bestseller. It's a bibliophile's dream! On every shift you are likely to encounter something unfamiliar. You also get the opportunity to share your favourites: ""Yes, I've read that and I recommend it!"" Justin, Books, Online and Social Media Volunteer at Oxfam Books and Music London Victoria

"The excitement of a bag of books being donated to the shop and diving in to see what gems may be uncovered! I always feel more drawn to antiquarian texts, as it is nice to imagine collections or libraries that it has been in. Jane, History & Religion/ Till Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Beeston

Make a Difference

5. You don’t need to be an expert, everyone is welcome

“It is okay to be nervous at first but there is a lot of help from the other volunteers.” Sally, Book sorting and till Volunteer at Oxfam Bury St Edmunds

“Everyone is really friendly and you can buy yourself lots of nice books!” Rachel, Online Shop Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Byres Road

Get to Know people and have fun

6. It’s really good fun

“I really enjoy chatting to customers as recommendations and information go both ways and you never stop learning from others. Also, the kick you get when signing into ‘Awaiting Dispatch’ or ‘Dispatched’ to see one of your listings up there!” Gill, Online and Till Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Truro

“I love finding the books that people want, and talking to others about books and helping them find something they might enjoy reading. It's also satisfying when books I've listed online sell.” Ellen, Shop Floor and Online Volunteer at Oxfam Books & Music Berkhamsted

“35 years of volunteering with Oxfam and I am still there.  I love helping to find just the right book, the obscure and the popular, for our wonderful customers.” Penelope, Volunteer at Oxfam Bookshop Brigg

Volunteer for Oxfam