Oxfam shops

5 Reasons to Volunteer This Winter

With over 45 shops, we need people from all walks of life to volunteer for all kinds of roles that help beat poverty.

You can give as little or as much time as you like. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s right for you, just pop into your local Oxfam shop and have a chat with the shop manager.

We have almost 1,200 shop volunteers at the heart of our community and our volunteers are a part of a powerful movement of people united by one goal – an end to poverty, for everyone.

Without volunteers like YOU we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do.

Philip, sits by the till in Oxfam’s shop in Portlaoise, where he serves customers each day. Photo: Maria Gillan
Philip, sits by the till in Oxfam’s shop in Portlaoise, where he serves customers each day. Photo: Maria Gillan


Volunteering is linked to better physical, mental and emotional health – and helps us feel more socially connected.

Volunteer in an Oxfam shop and you’ll meet some amazing people at the heart of your community, who are united by a common cause.


It’s the time of year for giving, and what better present to give than the gift of your time? Every shift you volunteer raises vital funds to transform the lives of people living in poverty – helping people around the world to grow more food, educate their children, and lead healthy, productive lives.


Volunteering works both ways. There are so many benefits to volunteering, whether you’re looking to share your knowledge, meet new people, or get valuable experience that looks great on your CV or UCAS form, talk to us, we’d love to talk to you.


Oxfam Shops are a great place for buying quality second hand clothes, unique sustainable gifts and cards that help beat poverty – and you’ll be surprised at how much festive fun you can have by helping people find special Christmas presents for their loved ones.

What better way to support sustainable fashion and our fight against climate change than by volunteering during the festive season.

You may even be able to tick off some pressies from your own Christmas shopping list while you’re there too!


With a new year just around the corner, you can get ahead of the game and tick off a resolution before 2020 has even started. If you’re in need of some inspiration, volunteering with Oxfam could help provide some fresh perspective. You’ll find people that you can learn from, and who can learn from you.

From window dressing to managing our social media, whatever you choose to do, join a friendly team at the heart of your community.

Think you’d enjoy a few hours volunteering this winter?

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8 Reasons Why Oxfam Unwrapped Cards Make the Perfect Ethical Gift

Child smiling washing hands
Photo: Rodney Dekker

With more people on the hunt for ethical Christmas presents, an Oxfam Unwrapped card is a gift you can feel good about giving to someone you care about.

With these unique cards, you can make a loved one smile, while fighting poverty and protecting the environment, one gift at a time. Here’s how Oxfam Unwrapped makes an impact.

1. Helping people to overcome income inequality

Oxfam Ireland’s work is focussed on providing families with sustainable, resilient pathways out of poverty. When you buy a gift such as a cow, goat or honeybees, you’re helping people to develop a sustainable way of living and lift their communities out of severe poverty in Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia. The animals are well looked after and the aspiring farmers are offered support and training to give their ventures the best chance at success.

2. Improving access to education

We’re working with schools and families around the world to give children, especially the next generation of girls, a quality education. Oxfam’s approach is wide-ranging that help people access vital services like education and healthcare.

3. Supporting those most in need

When cyclones hit, Oxfam is on the ground directly where there is a threat to life, health and livelihoods. Cards such as A WEE Gift For You or Water for a Family help to provide necessities for those affected by natural and man-made disasters, such as refugee crises.

4. Promoting gender equality

Educate and empower the next generation of women’s rights activists with the Educate a Girl card. Women are supported with opportunities to generate sustainable livelihoods, and aspiring activists are trained in effective ways of campaigning for gender equality and the eradication of violence against women.

5. Go plastic free

Christmas Day can easily lead to an overload of waste, so we’ve made sure that your gift comes in organic, compostable and recyclable packaging and courier bags. Or even better: select a digital (PDF) card which you can download and send to be completely waste-free.

6. Showing kindness to animals

Our farmers given training to provide their animals with the best possible care and on visits to our programmes we find them healthy and enjoying life.

7. Fair Trade all the way

Not only will you help aspiring farmers get a fair price for their produce. This means those all along the supply chain are paid a fair price for what they sell, leading to a more equal world for everyone involved.

8. Spreading good vibes and generosity

By gifting a gift card like Feed 6 Families, you can enjoy your festive meal, with the knowledge that you’ve helped a family in need purchase food during a hard time. Cards like these help to provide vouchers for families, to purchase necessary food in shops, helping to support local trade.

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Unwrap Real Hope & Joy this Christmas

Are you struggling to find the perfect gift this Christmas?  Why not give something different and check out our Unwrapped gift range! These poverty-beating presents are guaranteed to raise a smile and last a lifetime!

What is Unwrapped?

Each gift in the Oxfam Unwrapped range has been picked because, alongside one of the four funds that it represents, it plays an important part in helping people affected by poverty to build a brighter future. Your gift will go where it’s needed most and begin to make an immediate difference. Each community we work with has different needs, so we ensure families living in severe poverty have a say in finding the best solution for them and we work with them to make that solution a reality.

“This is not just about making honey.”

Meet Addise and Alem who live in rural Ethiopia. The honey they harvest might taste like any other good quality honey, but it’s entirely richer and sweeter when you know that the beekeepers behind it are getting an education, gaining life-changing skills, and earning an income which will continue to reward generations to come. Watch their story!

With our Honeybees (€20/£18) gift, you can help rural farmers learn the latest beekeeping methods and harvest more honey from their hives. More honey means more money to put food on the table and keep children in education.

More Than Honey | Oxfam Ireland

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How to Buy

Once you’ve selected your Unwrapped gifts, there are several ways you can buy:

  1. Online at oxfamireland.org/unwrapped
  2. Via email at irl-unwrapped@oxfam.org
  3. Call our office at 1850 30 40 55 (Republic of Ireland) or 0800 0 30 40 55 (Northern Ireland). We’re open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.
  4. Or visit your local Oxfam shop. There, you can select your gift cards of choice and even pick up some other items on your Christmas shopping list!


When you purchase two or more Unwrapped gifts by Friday the 15th of November 2019, you will also receive a FREE Grow Your Own Christmas Tree!

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It's the End of Second Hand September

We did it! In Ireland, over 1,200 of you proudly took on the challenge and said no to new clothes for 30 days. Together, we diverted 29 tonnes of clothing from landfill – the emissions equivalent of driving around the world four times! Thank you so much for your support!

You’ve also helped to kickstart conversations around fast fashion, changed perceptions of second-hand shopping by posting your amazing outfits, and are inspiring others by sharing why you reuse, rewear and recycle.

Together, we have the power to make a lasting, fashionable change in Ireland. Right now, the fashion industry emits more carbon dioxide emissions than the shipping and aviation industries combined! To combat climate change, we need to continue voicing the urgency for change. In Belfast and Dublin, we proudly marched at the climate strikes alongside thousands of students who are worried about the planet they will inherit. The climate crisis is not an easy fix and there will be bumps on the journey to sustainable living, but all it takes for each of us is that first step – no matter how small!

We hope you’ve loved being part of the first ever Second Hand September and that you continue to shop sustainably, buy second-hand and upcycle your clothes. It’s the only way that we can combat and reduce the harmful effects of fast fashion on our planet and its people. By buying and donating your clothes through Oxfam shops, you can give them a second chance to be loved and increase their lifespan, while protecting the planet and raising money to help the poorest people around the world. Just one purchase in our shops could provide desperately needed seeds to a farmer desperate to rebuild her livelihood after a natural disaster.

The power is in all our hands. Thank you again!

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3 Tips to Help Sew in Sustainable Fashion

1. Get Inspired

Inspiration is everywhere – even where you might not expect it! Your journey to sustainable fashion starts at your wardrobe. Have a closer look at the different colours and styles you know you like. Then, think outside the box about how you can dress items up or down for different, fresh looks. That dress you wore a month ago can be restyled by throwing a jumper over it, adding a belt or even wearing a t-shirt underneath. By getting inspired, you can reduce throwaway fashion while reducing your carbon footprint. Why not take the first step today?

2. Take the #30Wears Test

When trying to decide whether to buy a piece of clothing, think, “Will I wear it at least 30 times?”. If the answer is yes, then go for it! But, if you don’t believe you’ll wear it as much, then steer clear. Try to be aware that wearing clothes just a couple of times is a symptom of today’s throwaway and fast fashion crisis. Sales may be particularly enticing but be sure to always keep in mind the #30Wears test – yes, even if those 20% off trousers are calling your name!

3. Upcycle, Upcycle, Upcycle

Looking for a responsible way to reuse that unwanted t-shirt? If you’re searching for new looks but don’t want to support fast fashion, try upcycling unwanted pieces of clothing into new and exciting styles! There are many ways to upcycle clothing, including repurposing old shirts, turning trousers into shorts, and snipping dresses into skirts or blouses. If you have a feline friend, you can even upcycle an unwanted t-shirt into a cat tent in just 10 easy steps here. Fuel your creativity – there’s no limit to what you can do!

If you found these tips helpful, sign the Second-Hand September pledge below to say no to new clothes for 30 days. Join the movement today!

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