Volunteers wanted for new Weston charity shop

Volunteers outside the Weston Samaritans branch in High Street. They are opening a shop on the corne

Volunteers outside the Weston Samaritans branch in High Street. They are opening a shop on the corner of High Street and Grove Road. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A charity shop, which will raise money to support people at a time of crisis, will soon open, but it desperately needs volunteers to come forward.

The Samaritans headquarters in Weston-super-Mare's High Street is under refurbishment.

Work is nearing completion on the new shop, which is based below the headquarters opposite Grove Park.

It has been converted from a former food takeaway and forms part of a large renovation project carried out by the Weston and North Somerset branch.

It has seen the creation of a ground-floor operations room for the charity to provide 24-hour telephone support for those in distress and at risk of taking their own life.

It will give the Samaritans an opportunity to have a shop, selling clothes, books, haberdashery and vintage items which will raise much-needed funds to secure the future of the branch and its service.

Doors are expected to open at the end of this month.

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A manager is already in place and volunteer retail assistants do not need any previous experience as training and support will be provided.

Director Joe, who like other volunteers uses a first name only when working with the charity, said: "This is a massive step forward for us. For many years we have been aiming for disabled access and now this will be possible.

"It means our doors will be fully open for people with mobility issues - be they volunteers or members of the public seeking face to face contact.

"We have a valuable corner position on the High Street and it will make us much more visible to the public, allowing us to promote our services to those local people struggling to cope."

Volunteer information sessions aimed at recruiting people for the listening team are also being held this month.

The team of 50 volunteers answered 15,300 phone calls, 1,000 emails and more than 600 texts last year.

The next volunteer session will take place on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm at the branch, in High Street.

For more information about volunteering opportunities, email samaritansrecruitmentwsm@yahoo.com or, alternatively, call 07852 962909.