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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 21 May 2007

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THE Red Cross is launching theBritish Red Cross Certificate in Retail Skills, a nationally recognised qualification specifically designed for young charity shop volunteers. The first of its kind in the UK, the scheme launching on 29 May allows young volunteers to channel their efforts into a recognised qualification.

The British Red Cross acknowledges the importance of involving young people in the charity retail sector. With 1 in 3 people in Britain is defined as youth, young people represent the 2nd largest element of the customer base for charity shops, with 15% of 18 to 24 year olds visiting a charity shop more than 21 times a year.

Miranda Bradley, retail development adviser at the British Red Cross said:- “Young people are essential to the Red Cross and we want to position ourselves as leaders in the charity retail sector for young people. The benefits are huge for both us as a charity and the young people involved. By recruiting more young people to volunteer in Red Cross shops, the shops will become more attractive to young customers. The new Certificate will enable young volunteers to reach their potential, empowering then to make the most of their time with us, building up something tangible and useful for the future.”

The British Red Cross Certificate in Retail Skills is a youth led project and was developed and designed by young volunteers under the age of 26. Young people were involved from the outset, with a young intern managing the project. 2 new roles for young retail volunteers were created in the Trading Department of the British Red Cross to encourage youth participation at a local and national level.

Lucy Pugh, 17, a volunteer who helped devise the Certificate comments:- “The new Certificate in Retail Skills came about because we as young volunteers and the shop managers felt that there was something more to gain from our volunteering. Through this qualification, young people have greater responsibility in their workplace, build up their confidence and also get to learn a lot more about the Red Cross. The Certificate is a fantastic way to get more young people involved in the work of the organisation in the way that suits them, as it can be tailored to the tastes and interests of the young volunteers. Being able to participate in this qualification will help keep volunteering exciting and make it a recognisable achievement.”

The British Red Cross Certificate in Retail Skills, developed according to the Russell Commission criteria, is available at both standard and advanced levels. The standard level is an introduction to retail, allowing young volunteers to develop the skills needed for paid employment in retail. The advanced level is designed for longer-term volunteers and allows young people to get involved in in depth projects such as managing a department in the shop or developing skills in visual merchandising.

The British Red Cross is also launching theRetail Innovation Fundthat will make 4 awards of £250 available for young retail volunteers for innovative and creative projects that will increase shop sales or raise awareness of a British Red Cross shop within the community. Examples include holding a fashion show or designing and making new stock for sale.

The Certificate in Retail launch will take place on Tuesday 29 May 2007, 3pm to 4.30pm, at the British Red Cross Head Office, Moorgate, London.

Calling all animal lovers – volunteer receptionists needed!

CALLING all animal lovers! Leading veterinary charity, PDSA, is appealing for people to donate a little of their time to the charity for pets in need of vets by lending a paw at Everton PDSA PetAid hospital. 

Staff at Everton PDSA PetAid hospital are looking to recruit volunteers who can assist with reception duties at the PetAid hospital on 36 – 40 Richmond Terrace.  The role is the initial point of contact with members of the public who contact PDSA by phone. Other duties including registering new clients by computer, booking appointments and taking payment for preventive services and processing donations, plus any other office tasks to ensure the smooth running of the PetAid hospital.

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Stephen McArdle, says:- “Every year volunteers save PDSA a massive £8.5 million across the UK, and we are very grateful for their dedication to helping pets in need of vets.   Here at Everton PDSA PetAid hospital, we are looking for a well-organised, reliable person, with good communication and keyboard skills and who is used to dealing with the public. This is a very rewarding but challenging role, so please get in touch today to find out more about helping PDSA.”

Over 4,800 volunteers help in PDSA’s 181 shops, 43 PetAid hospitals, 4 PetAid branches and 81 fundraising groups. PDSA volunteer opportunities are available across the UK and are listed on the PDSA website.  For more information about becoming a volunteer, please contact PDSA National Volunteering Centre on freephone 0800 854 194.

For further information about PDSA PetAid services please call freephone 0800 731 2502 or visit

A Million Move to Escape Neighbour Noise and more raucous revelry

ACCORDING to a new Ipsos MORI survey, 2% of people say they have moved house to escape noisy neighbours. The report also found that noise from cars and motorbikes is now the most common cause of annoyance in our neighbourhoods, affecting 1 in 5 people, and 70% are bothered by noise in their neighbourhood.

"This new research shows that noise continues to have a major impact - as for 45% of our sample, (compared to 35% in 2006) it affects their quality of life to some extent at home.  Many neighbourhood noise problems are the result of inconsiderate behaviour, and can be solved by the common sense, practical solutions being promoted at local level during Noise Action Week." said Philip Mulligan, NSCA Acting Chief Executive. 

In addition, the survey results indicate that noise from pubs, clubs and entertainment venues is a source of increasing bother, particularly for those living in Scotland, with increasing outdoor revelry since the indoor smoking ban.  We also asked people about outdoor areas they consider quiet - and 59% are lucky enough to have quiet gardens, with 38% considering their street quiet. However, for an unlucky 1%, there are no quiet areas, rising to 5% among Londoners.

During Noise Action Week professionals involved in managing neighbour noise - local authorities, housing providers and mediation services - are raising awareness of noise issues at local level, providing advice and information on reducing noise, on realistic expectation of noise and legislation to manage noise.

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