A new partnership between the Orange's Red Cross charity shop and TAFE NSW Western Institute sees TAFE students from the Certificate II in Retail Operations course complete 100 hours of voluntary work in the store over a 15-week period.
Retail teacher Chantal Hawkins said, "Even though local businesses have been very supportive of our course, it's still quite hard to find work placement in town for all the students so when the Red Cross rang to say they were struggling to get volunteers and asked if could we help I was pleased for the opportunity.
"We're now providing them with two student volunteers every day except Wednesday, Chantal said.
Red Cross volunteer store manager Joan Payne said the partnership was proving very beneficial. "We have a core group of about 22 volunteers, but family illness can deplete those numbers considerably," she said.
"We've very grateful that TAFE has come on board and, because we have strict rules and regulations to follow here in the shop, we hope to provide good experience for the students."
The Orange Red Cross shop, located in Anson Street, turned over $300,000 last year, putting it in the top five of 60 charity stores throughout Australia.
The store operates with a 'boutique style' system, offering new and high quality used clothing and accessories, and displaying them in a manner which meets strict Red Cross Australia guidelines.
Chantel Hawkins also said, "It's this 'boutique style' management that is particularly attractive to TAFE. Even though it is a community service, the store is run as a modern retail outlet,"
"It's really a fantastic store; it's incredibly busy and a great environment for our students." Chantal concluded..
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