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5 Reasons to Volunteer This Winter

With our 46 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.

Our shop volunteers are at the heart of our community and they 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.

Join our Oxfamily | Volunteer At Oxfam

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It is because of the commitment and enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers that Oxfam can change lives and work toward building a world without poverty.

"A normal Shift is about four hours, but I always wish it could be longer, because it is amazing to see so many people of all ages take an interest in books and helping charity" Chloe Chu, a volunteer at Oxfam Books in Dublin

Volunteer with Oxfam Ireland

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HERE ARE 5 REASONS TO VOLUNTEER IN AN OXFAM SHOP THIS WINTER…

1. MAKE NEW FRIENDS

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.

2. MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE BY HELPING RAISE FUNDS FOR OXFAM’S WORK

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.

3. USE SKILLS AND LEARN NEW ONES

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.

4. SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND JOIN OUR FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

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!

5. START THE NEW YEAR ON A POSITIVE NOTE

With a new year just around the corner, you can get ahead of the game and tick off a resolution before 2022 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.

6. A Safe Place

All of our shops have safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers and customers. All shops have a suite of PPE: sneeze screens in front of the tills, social distancing measures and messaging throughout the store and a sanitation station at the entrance. Staff and volunteers are wearing masks and have an infrared thermometer in each shop to ensure regular check-ups - as well plenty of handwashing - throughout the day. As part of the overall ‘Covid Compliant Reopening Plan’ which focuses on the Health & Safety of our Staff, Volunteers, Customers and Donors all stock donations will be quarantined for 72 hours before going on sale.

Safety Measures in our Oxfam Shops

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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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Vaccines for just one in eight people delivered to Sub-Saharan Africa

Oxfam Ireland, as part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, today (06.12.2021), marked the one-year anniversary of Northern Ireland grandmother Margaret Keenan becoming the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, by publishing data on the vaccine doses delivered to countries across the world.

The data provides a stark comparison on the access to vaccines for countries across the world, with Sub-Saharan Africa having received only enough doses to vaccinate 1 in 8 people.

On an individual country level, Democratic Republic of the Congo for example has received enough doses to vaccinate just one percent of the country’s population, in contrast to wealthy countries like Ireland where the entire population is almost fully vaccinated and booster campaigns are well underway.

The World Health Organisation recently highlighted that six times more booster shots are being administered daily around the globe than primary doses in low-income countries.

Vaccine Inequity Contributing to Emergence of Covid-19 Variants

On highlighting the new data, the development agency has reiterated its condemnation of the Irish Government and European Commission for their continued efforts to block the TRIPS Waiver on Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments at World Trade Organisation talks.

The temporary waiver would suspend patent rules on these products and enable increased production of Covid-19 vaccines, increasing access in low- and middle-income countries.  

Jim Clarken, Oxfam Ireland CEO commented today: “Vaccine inequity has created the perfect breeding ground for new variants such as Omicron. This should be a wake-up call.

"We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past 21 months. With Norway becoming the latest country to support the TRIPS waiver just last week, we now need Ireland and the EU to chart a new path forward. They must step up and insist the pharmaceutical companies start sharing their science and technology with qualified manufacturers around the world, so we can vaccinate people in all countries and finally end this pandemic.

“It’s shameful that, according to the World Health Organisation, six times more booster shots are being administered daily around the globe than primary doses in low-income countries. We should not forget that the new Omicron variant was first discovered by scientists in countries which have been denied the right to produce their own vaccines.”

Oxfam Demands for Irish Government

Oxfam Ireland has also published a list of demands calling on the Irish Government and the European Commission to:

  • Ensure immediate approval of the waiving of intellectual property rules through a TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organisation, to end the monopoly control of pharmaceutical firms over COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. The World Trade Organization (WHO) General Council must urgently reconvene now, not next year, to approve this waiver.
  • Endorse and support the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) to facilitate the sharing of knowledge by pharmaceutical companies to increase vaccine production.
  • Declare all vaccines, including new versions of vaccines designed to combat the Omicron variant ‘global public goods’, and share vaccine recipes openly with producers worldwide via the World Health Organisation.

Oxfam Ireland along with the People’s Vaccine Alliance Ireland has also written to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment asking for a review of Ireland and the EU’s opposition to the TRIPS waiver, with input from international experts. The waiver comes under the trade function of this committee.

Mr. Clarken continued: “Business as usual has led to huge profits for pharmaceutical firms, but many people left unvaccinated, meaning that this virus continues to mutate. It is the definition of madness to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. We need to press reset.

 “Fighting to buy up limited supplies of hugely expensive vaccines to protect our own citizens whilst ignoring the rest of the world will only lead to more variants, more mutations, more restrictions and more lives lost.

“With the new threat of the Omicron variant, it is clear that we cannot just booster our way out of the pandemic while leaving much of the developing world behind. Unless all countries are vaccinated as soon as possible, we could see wave after wave of variants.

“What is the point in developing new vaccines in 100 days if they are then only sold in limited amounts to the highest bidder, once again leaving poor nations at the back of the queue?”

The People’s Vaccine Alliance of which Oxfam is a co-founder has created a virtual memorial wall will be revealed at www.peoplesvaccine.org/memorial-wall on Wednesday, 8th December, marking a year since the first vaccine was administered.

Failure to support TRIPS waiver could “surrender the world to a prolonged pandemic”


The People’s Vaccine Alliance Ireland co-founded by Oxfam Ireland today accused Ireland and the EU of supporting a “a rich country stitch-up” at ongoing World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks that will decide the future of Covid-19 vaccine production. The EU, supported by Ireland, are continuing to block the demands of South Africa, India and over 100 other nations to temporarily waive intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.

Just last week, the South African President reiterated this call ahead of the WTO meeting. The waiver, which would significantly increase production of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments across the world was discussed at the WTO TRIPS Council on this week.

To highlight Ireland and EU’s continued stance against vaccine equity, campaigners from Oxfam Ireland along with Amnesty International Ireland, Trocaire, Doctors for Vaccine Equity, ICCL, Christian Aid and the Access to Medicines Ireland group, as part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, staged a demonstration at Leinster House, today.


Speaking today about the ongoing WTO talks, CEO of Oxfam Ireland Jim Clarken said: “The heavily mutated new Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa last week, is clear evidence that the only way to end the pandemic is to vaccinate the whole world. The global vaccine inequity created by rich countries and western pharmaceutical companies has helped to enable the conditions necessary for this kind of deadly mutation to thrive.

“Rather than granting developing countries manufacturing rights and ensuring people get vaccinated to cut-off new variants, the People’s Vaccine Alliance in Ireland says the best response they can muster is to put up walls to a variant they have allowed to develop.”

At current rates, just 8% of people in low-income countries will have received at least one dose by the end of this year. This compares to 76% for high-income countries.

In Ireland, more than 400 leading scientists and medical professionals, including Prof Kingston Mills, Prof Sam McConkey and Prof Luke O’Neill, have signed a public statement urging the Irish Government to support the generic production of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments to address global vaccine inequity. The call has been coordinated by People’s Vaccine Alliance in Ireland with Oxfam Ireland a leading member.


Mr Clarken continued: “The Covid-19 pandemic has killed at least five million people and impoverished hundreds of millions more. Without access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, many more will die in low- and middle-income countries purely to ensure the profits of pharmaceutical companies.

“Intellectual property rules have created an artificial scarcity of vaccines and treatments, leading to low vaccine coverage in developing countries. And that has helped to create the ideal conditions for the emergence of dangerous new variants that could put everyone, everywhere at risk once again. This is not just an ethical debate. As well as being the right thing to do, ensuring global access for all to vaccines, life-saving therapeutics, diagnostics and other medical tools is the only way to end the pandemic. Without generic vaccine production, we will continue to see variants emerge, which may be vaccine resistant and place us all at risk.”

5 CHARITABLE GIFT IDEAS TO MAKE THIS CHRISTMAS MORE SPECIAL

Here are a few ways you can sprinkle some magic throughout the festive season - with charitable gifts and fun DIY projects. And how Oxfam can help.

The past two years have drastically changed the way we live our lives. And the way we celebrate holidays.
But we have an opportunity to rethink traditions, create new ones, and put the meaning back into Christmas like never before. Here are 5 ideas to help...

1. FEEL CLOSER (EVEN WHEN YOU’RE APART)

If you're going to be away from loved ones at Christmas, thoughtful gestures can help you feel closer.

You’ll also find thousands of unique and thoughtful Christmas gifts in the Oxfam Online Christmas Shop. Like amazing books and rare vinyl boxsets.

Or choose a charity gift you know will strike a chord. Whether your dad’s into gardening or your gran loves goats, Oxfam Unwrapped has ideas for everyone. Each charity gift card makes a real difference by helping people living in poverty.

2. HELP CHRISTMAS MEAN (EVEN) MORE

If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the power of acting together. The festive season is a great time to do just that, uniting to help others – even if you can’t meet in person.

Not sure what you’d like for Christmas? Shopping with Oxfam is a great and easy way to make a difference. When you shop with us, all the items you buy will help families living in poverty. Adding a donation when you shop is a great way to give more this Christmas.

Our products are ethical and sustainable, with a vast range of options that includes gifts, preloved fashion, homeware, and more!


"I'd buy myself this top, it’s so sparkly and perfect to wear at Christmas.” - Raphael Wong, Oxfam shop volunteer.
 

3. GIVE TO THE PLANET

Coronavirus hasn’t been the only issue on people’s minds in 2021. The recent COP26 conference sharing shocking statistics on the state of the natural world have put the climate crisis front and centre. No surprise then, that many people are finding new ways to lessen their environmental impact.

Thousands of you took part in Second Hand September – thank you.

There are many ways you can shop second hand beyond the month of September. Gifting second hand is just one way to enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas.

There is something for everyone, from unique home accessories to vintage collectables for history lovers. Want to send out a Christmas card to your loved ones? Check out our card range. To avoid waste, you can also reuse your wrapping paper or turn it into festive decorations or envelopes.

4. CREATE A NEW TRADITION

Why not start something new and doable? You could buy a camera and create a Christmas movie with all your special moments together. Start annual Christmas games or make your own chocolate treats. Or club together with relatives to buy a life-changing gift for a family in need. You can wear fun Christmas jumpers, make your own handmade cards or buy some Christmas tree seeds and start growing your own Christmas tree for next year!

5. MAKE YOUR HOME MAGICAL

If you’re spending most of the festive period at home, it’s a good excuse to make your surroundings feel extra special. Plenty of decorations, sparkle and hygge will help. Or treat yourself to some ethical decorations, like this lovely Sourced By Oxfam Handmade Bicycle Gold Work Decoration. Stock up on comforting treats too. Like these delicious white chocolate polar bears. Or these amazing amazing Medjoul dates to add to your cakes. And to make gift-giving feel extra special, why not try fabric knot wrapping, using recycled sari fabric instead of paper.

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Cards on the table, there’s no better Christmas gift than Oxfam Unwrapped

Trying to find the perfect gift can be tricky. So, this Christmas, instead of giving your Secret Santa another pair of novelty socks, why not give something different?

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

The pandemic has made the most vulnerable even more vulnerable. For families already facing the threat of war, hunger and life-threatening diseases like cholera, Covid-19 only adds to the daily fear and uncertainty they feel.

By giving the gift of soap for at-risk communities this Christmas, you could provide a life-changing gift to a struggling family. Soap, which can be a barrier between life and death, is simple and cost-effective, but not readily available for many of the world’s poorest people.

Nur* is using the recently installed Contactless Handwashing Device in the Rohingya camp. Photo: Fabeha Monir/Oxfam

With this gift you are helping people like Nur* who has been in a camp for Rohingya refugees for almost three years and has had to face many challenges including living in a tent, extreme heat, monsoons and a lack of clean water.

To help families and women like Nur*, Oxfam has installed contactless handwashing devices and is providing hygiene education.

“We are not afraid, we know how to wash hands, how to be safe. We heard from volunteers, they told us.” - Nur*

Your Unwrapped gift can make a real difference to the families living in crisis. In the past few years, we have seen the impact that climate change has had on people who are already living in extreme poverty. Often it is the people least responsible that are the most vulnerable to a warming planet’s devastating impacts on their communities and livelihoods. But thanks to people like you, Oxfam can provide training for farmers to help them plan for climate change.

Patouma Alisen is a farmer in the Liundi village in Malawi. Oxfam has been helping her and other farmers, who previously had to rely on maize, to grow vegetables in small kitchen gardens. Now they use some of the produce to feed their families and can earn an income by selling the rest.

By buying an Unwrapped gift like There is No Planet B this Christmas, you could help prepare more families for climate change.

How to Buy

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

  1. Online at oxfamireland.org/unwrapped
  2. Call our office at 1850 30 40 55. We’re open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.
  3. Or, visit your local Oxfam shop. There, you can select your gifts of choice and pick up some other items on your Christmas list.

It's an amazing feeling to give someone a gift that keeps on giving. This Christmas, make a loved one smile while fighting poverty and protecting the environment… one gift at a time.

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