Discount lure for charity recruits

Indira Das-Gupta

Sue Ryder Care is offering a 20 per cent discount in its charity shops to people who try a one-hour 'taster' volunteering session.

The move is part of the charity's latest recruitment drive, which will be launched next month with the aim of encouraging more applications from people with diverse backgrounds and matching people's skills with specific roles for the first time.

Tracey Mealing, nationwide volunteer co-ordinator for Sue Ryder Care, denied that the discount amounted to payment.

"It's an enticement rather than a payment, and it is intended to get them through the door first of all," she said. "Once they're in, we hope that we can convert them."

The charity will also be advertising for volunteers to fill new roles, including 'music maestro' and 'recycling champion', which it hopes will appeal to people's interests and help the charity to match volunteers' skills with specific roles.

"In the past, our calls for volunteers have seemed desperate and we hadn't really thought through what kind of jobs needed doing," said Mealing.

"You end up searching around for roles that are suitable for applicants. The other problem is that people sometimes join with unrealistic expectations, so they end up disappointed."

The recruitment drive will be led by shop managers, who will leaflet organisations in their local areas, such as mosques, doctors' surgeries and schools.

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