On Tuesday 20th February I set off to spend my ‘Day in the life of…’ at our Camelford Community shop. I arrived at the shop and met Shop Manager, Sofia and Business Development Manager, Justine, who was there on a quick visit.
I headed to the back of the shop to stow my coat and bag away and immediately noticed this funky canvas amongst the donations. It was my favourite find of the day!
Sofia is the only member of staff at Camelford and there are no volunteers on a Tuesday morning so Sofia can’t leave the till point. I cleaned bric-a-brac out the back and then took the items down to Sofia to price and display.
As I went to the till with sparkling items ready for purchasing Sofia was handing me bags to take back as generous donations steadily came into the shop all day!
It was impossible not to notice that Sofia knows the name of every customer, they are all regulars and most come with donations, arms full of boxes and bags! And then they leave with some new things too!
One lady brings in a bag of stuffing, to stuff the handbags. Sofia informed me she comes every week without fail. 2 hours later the same lady came back again and this time she was buying some clothes.
A man came in for his weekly book , he found one from a favourite author of his for 75p.
“See you again” Sofia called out to lady that had quickly pulled up outside to drop in 2 bags of donations.
“You certainly will” she replies. And I don’t doubt it for a minute. This shop is full of a bustle of locals that know the shop and know Sofia.
I asked Sofia what is the one thing she wants people to understand about Camelford Community Shop and she replied with “for people to know how generous the people of Camelford are”.
With the cleaning done I moved on to the #twentypoundchallenge
Dress £6.00, boots £6.00 and bag £4.00 = total outfit £16.00
I purchased the boots as they fit me perfectly and I also bought a different dress and a top. ‘Day in the life of…” days are a little bit dangerous but as we tell our customers I’ve helped to fund the care and I’m feeling chuffed with my bargain buys.
Elizabeth and Lesley arrived in the afternoon. Elizabeth has volunteered at the shop for 1 year and Lesley has been volunteering for 12 years. These two lovely ladies get to sorting through the clothing donations at the till so that Sofia can leave the front of the shop.
We headed out back to put together a box for eBay. When a shop has goods donated that they know will sell better on eBay they can box them up to go on the next van to Daniels Lane. I filled in the form that listed the contents of the box and whether the shop would like the items back if they don’t sell on eBay.
(I don’t think you can go over the top with bubble wrap, I didn’t want anything to break on my watch!)
After I taped up the box for eBay I helped Sofia sort through more bags of donated clothing.
We had a bag of stained items for ragging, a bag for clothes for the clearance shops, a bag for summer clothing and a pile of clothes to go on the shop floor once they’d been steamed. Sofia has a volunteer that comes in once a week to do all the steaming.
As I headed out to the till to speak with Lesley and Elizabeth a customer knocked a puzzle book off the shelf with the pieces going all over the floor. So I found myself completing a Dora the Explorer puzzle!
I left the shop with one word in my mind, a word that’s at the heart of Cornwall Hospice Care, it’s in our strapline and in our Charity priorities… Community.