Nathan's volunteer story

Nathan, 20, from Hayes in Kent, left school with ‘A’ levels in English Literature, Film Studies and Media Studies. With university not for him, Nathan considered taking up an apprenticeship but instead decided on a job in retail, taking up a position in Boots in Bromley.

And then lockdown struck and like so many young people of a similar age, Nathan lost his job.

He says: “I felt guilty being out of work and felt it would be better to gain some more experience to put on my CV for when things picked up”.

Nathan knew all about Demelza – before the pandemic, his mum, Stella, ran a craft fair at the local village hall which often did collections for the hospice – so he decided to sign up as a volunteer.

Following an induction and training in December, Nathan started work at the Demelza shop in West Wickham, working every Tuesday and Thursday. Despite the disruption of a further lockdown, Nathan hasn’t looked back. He says: “I love it! There’s such variety to the role – I could be on the till, unloading and sorting donations, stocking the shelves, advising customers. And being the youngest, I’m often helping the older volunteers with IT”.

Nathan continues: “there’s something about volunteering in a charity shop – everyone is beyond friendly, staff and customers, and it makes a world of difference”.

Nathan would recommend volunteering at Demelza: “it’s such a great opportunity for school leavers to gain general experience in all aspects of retail in a working environment that is welcoming and not too intimidating”.

A man wearing a checked shirt and white t-shirt, standing behind the counter in a Demelza charity shop.

Volunteering for Demelza is a great alternative for young people who are struggling to secure apprenticeships or internships in the current economic climate. It has been a positive experience all round for Nathan and as he says: “I feel like my job is important – my work matters”.

If you're interested in volunteering for Demelza and would like to find out more you can read more about joining #TeamDemelza here, or alternatively, you can contact our Volunteering Team directly on