RSPCA appealing for 'invaluable' volunteers for new Penwortham shop

RSPCA managers Deborah Hiorns and Frances Augustinus are looking for volunteers to join them at the new Penwortham branch.
RSPCA managers Deborah Hiorns and Frances Augustinus are looking for volunteers to join them at the new Penwortham branch.

The RSPCA would crumble without them "but getting volunteers through the door is becoming harder and harder."

That is the struggle faced by the RSPCA, which is appealing for as many volunteers as possible for a new charity shop set to open in Penwortham.

Volunteer Christine Bell steaming a dress for sale at the Longridge RSPCA shop.

Volunteer Christine Bell steaming a dress for sale at the Longridge RSPCA shop.

Shoppers can check out the store's array of bargains when doors open at 76 Liverpool Road, close to Ribble Vets Penwortham and C & M Pet Supplies, towards the end of the year. The official launch is yet to be confirmed.

Claire Bradly Russell, shop co-coordinator, said: "We couldn't function without volunteers. They are the backbone of the charity and their support is invaluable but getting them through the door is becoming harder and harder.

"We need a team of possibly 15 to 20 people and we are happy for them to do whatever they feel comfortable with, whether that's serving on the tills and taking donations or working behind-the-scenes by steaming clothes, tidying up or designing the window displays. We'll let people find their feet.

"There are loads of benefits for them. There's the social aspect, as it helps get people out and about in the community if they're not working or have problems with their health."

Volunteer Ann-Marie Blair-Smith cleaning up the Longridge RSPCA shop.

Volunteer Ann-Marie Blair-Smith cleaning up the Longridge RSPCA shop.

Pam Coulton helps out at the Longridge branch in Berry Lane.

She said: "I enjoy volunteering at the RSPCA because since retiring it has got me out in the community and is a good way of socialising.

"I love animals and it is a good way of helping the animals in need locally."

Chris Bell has worked in the same store for about three and a half years.

Pam Coulton and Chris Bell say they love volunteering at the RSPCA's shop in Longridge.

Pam Coulton and Chris Bell say they love volunteering at the RSPCA's shop in Longridge.

"Come rain or shine, no two days are alike," she said.

"You meet many wonderful and interesting people, from our regulars to people popping in before appointments. Staff all work together, not just in work hours either.

"The Longridge Christmas shopping night is a big hit. We welcome everyone with a drink, mince pies, and Christmas cheer.

"The Summer Fair held at a local school was very well attended, with nearly as many four-legged visitors as two-legged, with an astonishing amount raised for the animal centre. Put them on your calendar.

Volunteers can serve on the tills serving customers.

Volunteers can serve on the tills serving customers.

"If you are thinking about volunteering, join the RSPCA - you won’t regret it!"

For more information or to help out, please contact the Preston Animal Centre on 01772 792553 or info@rspca-preston.org.uk

Alternatively, send an email to Claire on shops@rspca-preston.org.uk

Volunteers are needed to sort through donated items and put them on display in the charity shops.

Volunteers are needed to sort through donated items and put them on display in the charity shops.

Volunteer Christine Bell sorting through the rails of clothes.

Volunteer Christine Bell sorting through the rails of clothes.

Deborah Hiorns and Frances Augustinus will be the managers of the new Penwortham shop.

Deborah Hiorns and Frances Augustinus will be the managers of the new Penwortham shop.