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Empowering Teens; Hospice Shops Volunteers Esme And Lilian

Empowering Teens Through Volunteering

Lilian and Esme are two very driven young ladies who have found themselves working side by side for the last 6 months at the Bridge Street Hospice Shop. These girls are community conscious, fashion smart, but most of all are working towards the same goal, work experience. In the competitive real world, where their CV will be compared to several others, theirs will show dedication, drive, and diligence.

We interviewed Lilian and Esme to talk about what motivates them and what they have learnt so far from their first step into the workforce.


What drew you towards volunteering?

“I’m the kind of person that likes to help people, but also we were like talking about jobs and stuff at school. I got kind of scared about my CV not having enough on it. My mum was talking about it (volunteering), and I was like, let’s just do it.”

What has been your best op shop find?

“Oh this leather jacket that I found. It’s genuine leather, and I got it for $50. You know how they’re usually so expensive? And it fitted perfectly.”

What advice would you give to someone unsure about volunteering?

“Probably just give it a go because what’s the worst that can happen, really. Just give it a try, you know? Honestly it has helped me a lot. Especially since I was stressed out about my CV and then knowing that I have this experience has just like made me feel more secure.”

How do you fit volunteering in to your weekend?

“I have evenings to rest, or study, so it’s a pretty easy balance, mostly since my shift isn’t really that long. It’s actually kind of nice to get away from everyone else’s routine and work on something for me, and spend time with colleagues that you don’t see in your day-to-day life, you know? Then I have the rest of Saturday and Sunday to hang out with my friends and stuff.”


What does your day-to-day look like at a Hospice Shop?

“First, I come in at about 10 and get to know the shop, and all the stuff in it. I look at the clothing racks and see if there’s anything that needs rehanging, just tidying up. Then I go on the till until around 1pm, then back to merchandising for the rest of the afternoon.”

What kind of training was given when you started?

“The people in charge show you around, show you how to use the till. They help you get the hang of it and then you can kind of get creative. I’m quite shy, but since I started, I have come out of my shell. I like to talk to people, and it’s a small shop, so it’s been a good way to ease into it.”

What are the perks of working in an Op Shop?

“Every time I come and start looking around the shop for the start of my day, I see things I like and, I buy most times too.”

What challenges have you found while volunteering?

“Thinking on the spot, like, when customers need a refund. You need to think on the spot and help them get what they need. I haven’t learnt some stuff yet either, so I still have to ask for help sometimes. It can be confronting but you can ease into it and get out of your shell.”

If you think you’d like to join the community of volunteers at one of our five Hospice Shops, please get in touch! 

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