Having been open since 2010, the Salvation Army’s charity shop on Maldon’s High Street is celebrating as a band of five volunteers mark five years of service. Kevin Jennings, the charity shop manager, himself opened the shop five years ago and is today delighted to have welcomed his area manager, Elaine Sanderson, who presented his volunteers with long-service awards.
One of the volunteers is Kevin’s father. Vic Jennings is retired and began helping the charity shop as a driver, collecting donations from the generous local community. Five years on, he’s still volunteering his time for his son.
Russell Newman and Sabine ‘Beanie’ Britten have been volunteering for the shop since opening day. Both Russell and Beanie have learning difficulties and since joining the team, they have grown so much in confidence that they now guide and train others to become volunteers. Kevin credits them as two of the most trusted members of the team.
Sally Banks has also been a volunteer for five years. She is described by Kevin as his “right arm” when the shop is busy. She gives two days a week of her time, and is known for her skills in organising the shop and her fantastic customer service.
Lastly, Captain Olive Dickson is a member of the local Salvation Army church and has volunteered since the shop opened. She has given four hours of her time each week since 2010, and through a special scheme whereby Salvation Army members earn an hourly rate for their corps (church) from the profits of the Salvation Army charity shops, she has raised thousands of pounds for the work carried out by the charity in the local community.
Kevin commented: “It’s overwhelming to think that our tight-knit charity shop team has now been together for five years. From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank these long-service volunteers for committing so much time, passion and energy since we opened. Volunteers often don’t realise just how valuable they are – it’s not just their skills with things like handling donations and customer service, it’s their spirit of generosity. We just couldn’t run our shops successfully without them!”
The Salvation Army’s Maldon charity shop has a roster of 40 volunteers, which is an unusually high number. Kevin added: “This just goes to show the town’s commitment to the community and its support of The Salvation Army.”
To ask about volunteer opportunities in the Maldon Salvation Army charity shop, contact Kevin Jennings on 01621 843347.