Charities feel the bite of workforce shortages

Following the workforce shortages that affected Torbay and South Devon at the height of the summer season when some hospitality businesses including restaurants and cafes were faced with a staffing crisis, local businesses and organisations are still struggling to recruit. While even big chains like Costa are feeling the recruitment squeeze (having announced a small wage rise as the company looks to recruit 2000 more staff before Christmas), it is the smallest businesses and especially charities that are being hit the hardest as we approach the busiest time of year.

Caroline Wannell, Head of Retail for Rowcroft, said:

“I think the issues in South Devon are reflective of the general labour shortages in the country, but in the charity sector where we rely on volunteers to help us out of the goodness of their hearts, we’re feeling the crunch even more. Our volunteers are crucial for the smooth running of our teams across our hospice, and in our shops and cafes that raise vital income for patient care. We’ve faced endless challenges caused by the pandemic including self-isolation and anxiety caused by COVID, and these have all exacerbated the workforce shortage situation.

“Our 15 Rowcroft Hospice shops and cafes in the Torbay and the South Devon region rely heavily on our teams of dedicated volunteers. While we are so grateful for everything our volunteers do in helping to raise vital funds to care for local people with life-limiting illnesses, many of our shops and cafes are in desperate need of more help, particularly now in the busy run-up to Christmas when our retail trading accounts for such a large proportion of our annual income.

“We’re eagerly seeking people with some spare time over the coming months who would like to lend a hand by volunteering in our local shops or cafes, helping us to raise crucial funds for the hospice. If you’re interested, then please do pop in for an informal chat.”

Rowcroft’s shops across the region sell a wide selection of high quality sustainable pre-loved goods, all recycled from the generous donations of the local community. Items on sale include pre-loved men’s, ladies’ and children’s fashion and accessories, plus a variety of homeware, furniture, books, toys, and DVDs.

Caroline added:

“Our beautiful sustainable products are competitively priced with all profits from every purchase going to support the hospice. You can be sure that shopping with Rowcroft is good for the local community, good for the planet and good for your bank balance!”

For more information about Rowcroft’s shops and cafes, please see: or call 01803 210800.

If you are interested in volunteering with Rowcroft, please email to request an application form, or call 01803 210852.

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