Get Youth to it
Youth Week is a week-long celebration that runs across various weeks in April across Australia to celebrate the positive contributions young people make to their communities. At Salvos Stores, we have a lot of young people who generously volunteer their time with us.
We speak to a Store Manger and her three young staff on their experiences of working together at Salvos Stores.
Enid, Store Manager:
Enid has been with Salvos for six years and has worked her way up from a volunteer to a manager position. She knows how to work hard whilst having fun, and believes it's important to encourage and give everyone who walks through the door a chance to prove themselves. After working with a wide range of volunteers and staff during her time with Salvos, she really sees the value of including young people in the team mix. She gets quite a few students coming through looking to gain hours for their Duke of Edinburgh Award, or to get earn community experience as part of their studies. She thinks its a great way for them to get an understanding of how charity works and for these (usually quite affluent) kids to understand the importance of the community contributing to help those who need it. She says 'It opens their minds and hearts, and they go on to then educate their peers, spreading understanding and tolerance'. She really enjoys working with young people as she believes they have a lot to offer, have a great sense of humour and aren’t afraid of hard work. It’s a two way thing with both the organisation and the individuals benefitting and she’ll be the first to say ‘give the kids a go’!
Lily, 18, Looking for experience and employment:
Lily is 18 and has been volunteering at Salvos stores for a month. She comes in one day a week with her carer, Anna to help out in store. Since finishing school, like many, she’s found it had to get work. Her nana suggested she try out at the local Salvos store as it was a place they’d both frequented together for years. Lily has vivid memories of shopping in the Mount Waverley store as a young child and was delighted to have an opportunity to get some retail experience back at the store she used to shop at. Lily loves the variety the role offers, as it’s ‘never boring’, and she especially loves to sort jewellery. She can’t believe the lovely things people donate! She’s a hard worker, helpful and very valued member of the team. She is also currently completing some work experience with Coles, which is giving her an insight into the grocery industry.
Liam, 20, University student:
Liam is a university student studying Computer Science and Cyber Security. Currently he volunteers a couple of days a week with Salvos Stores. Liam has has always had an interest in helping the community, previously volunteering as a collector for the Salvations Army’s Red Shield Appeal. Liam wanted to offer his time as a volunteer after his friend recommended it as a great way to gain experience. Initially he felt quite intimidated having to be customer facing, but has become used to it, his confidence has grown and is grateful that he’s been encouraged to do things he found difficult. Liam wasn’t an op shopper before, but now that he’s on a student budget, he is definitely considering shopping second-hand, especially seeing the great donations that come in!
Owen, 18, Completed VCE, taking a gap year to travel:
Owen finished VCE last year and is taking a gap year to travel to Europe. Like Liam, he hasn’t had a job before and was looking for an opportunity to clock up some experience to improve his employability. It’s tough these days to get experience, so he’s really grateful for this chance to gain some skills before he starts his travels. He works two days a week and is a month into it, so it’s still quite new, but he enjoys working with the team and meeting new people - including talking to customers and building his confidence. Working with a team made up of different ages is something he really he enjoys - it makes for some interesting conversations. He’s also proud to be able to contribute to the local community and is looking forward to being able to volunteer again when he returns from his overseas trip.
Shout out to all our amazing young people at Salvos Stores! Thank you for your dedication, enthusiasm, humour and heart. We're very grateful, and glad to know the future's in great hands.