Making a difference
Making a difference
A Happy Ending!
David Whittingham, 55, has worked in the Bolton Salvation Army Trading Company shop for the last 18 months.
When ill health forced David to leave his job working at his local job centre, where he had worked for more than 20 years, he found the change of pace at home hard to take.
“I was determined not to spend my life shut indoors in front of the TV,” says David. “I am passionate about books and was always in and out of local charity shops and second hand book shops on the look out for titles which interested me. One day I was in the Salvation Army Trading Company shop looking at the shelves and the manager asked if I would consider volunteering for them a few hours a week on the book section as I obviously had some knowledge.”
Since David came on board the book section has more than tripled its profitability thanks to his knowledge and enthusiasm. David explains that one of the key things he introduced since his arrival was clear labelling.
“The books have been sorted into fiction and non-fiction and also into genres such as science fiction and thrillers. It makes it a lot easier for customers to find what they are looking for and this helped to increase sales. Another important change was getting our pricing structure correct. Because I knew what other charity shops and second hand stores were asking I knew we were undercharging and could increase our prices without losing customers.”
David currently works at the store for about eight to ten hours a week.
“I split it between three or four days and thoroughly enjoy coming into the shop and seeing what new books are waiting for me! I like setting myself targets and get a kick out of meeting them. I also get pleasure from the social aspect of the job, chatting to staff and customers. Of course nothing beats seeing people go away happy because they’ve got a great book to read and the satisfaction of knowing the money raised from each sale is going to help people in need.”