Pop-up shop takes volunteering opportunities into businesses

Melanie May | 11 May 2018 | News

Charity Newlife has developed a way of making corporate volunteering easy: taking it straight into businesses with its new Pop-up Volunteering Shop.
Aimed at companies and organisations with groups of 15 volunteers or more, Newlife can pop-up one of its volunteering stations anywhere from a meeting room, to the staff canteen or an office. Volunteers can take part for just a few hours or a full day depending on their availability.
Newlife generates profits through its commercial recycling division, which sells de-labelled but new fashion stock donated by high-street retailing partners such as River Island, M&S and Primark. In the pop-up shop, volunteers are shown how to de-label the fashion stock, according to the specific requirements of each retailer.  Funds raised from these items then go to help children in that business’s local area.  Once de-labelled, the volunteers are also given the opportunity to buy the items at the discounted price Newlife would sell them in its stores.
Midlands businesses that have already taken part in Newlife’s Pop-Up volunteering events include HSBC UK and Vodafone.  HSBC UK in Edmund Street, Birmingham, has hosted two events so far with the first in July last year involving 32 banking volunteers and generating £930 for the charity.  HSBC UK’s second event in November engaged 36 volunteers and raised £1,151 of funds to help local disabled children in the West Midlands.
Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK said: 

“The level of engagement was very impressive. There was so much energy and enthusiasm from colleagues and the feedback has been extremely positive. Newlife’s Pop-Up events are a thoroughly worthwhile volunteering experience for an important cause.  It is so motivating to know that our efforts are directly helping a disabled child in the local community.”

More businesses are booked in over the coming summer months, including South Staffs Water, Co-op Energy, M&S Bank and Derby County Football Club.
Chris Fielding, Deputy Community Fundraising Manager at Newlife said:


“De-labelling the products is an important part of the whole fundraising process of generating money for the charity. All items donated to Newlife must have labels and branding removed so customers can’t fraudulently attempt to return them to the original outlet. Newlife then sells the stock through its six stores around the Midlands, with all profits used to buy children with disabilities or terminal illnesses specialist equipment such as wheelchairs, seating systems or walking frames.”

On average, the charity says sales of stock during a typical pop-up event can generate £600 to £1,200 to help local children whilst engaging 20-30 volunteers. All income generated during the event will provide equipment for disabled children local to the company’s venue. The remaining stock is transported back to Newlife to go on sale in its stores.
Main image: HSBC’s Pop-up Volunteering Shop

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