Retail volunteering opportunities

Make a difference by just being you

By volunteering in one of our high street shops or at our donation centre, you’ll be helping to fund research that saves lives right here in Yorkshire, in your town, your city and your community.

Our shops in Knaresborough, Northallerton and Tadcaster are an important source of income for the charity as we find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Our network of shops is growing and volunteers like you fund pioneering research through retail activities.

Whether it’s working front of house welcoming and serving customers, maintaining and updating our online shop, or organising and transporting stock behind the scenes, there are plenty of ways you can get involved.

If you have any questions, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions, or feel free to give us a call on 01423 877233 or send an email to

Apply now ⯈

Why volunteer?

  • Support a worthwhile cause – you'll be helping to fund research that saves lives.
  • Develop skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.
  • Receive full training and gain valuable experience which can enhance your CV.
  • It's flexible - volunteer at times that suit you.
  • Play an active role in your local community and be part of a supportive and friendly team.
  • It’s fun! We’re confident you’ll gain real satisfaction from doing something valuable with your free time.

What you could do

Volunteer Retail Assistant – play an essential role in the smooth running of our shops, from providing a warm and friendly welcome to customers and donors to organising and re-stocking displays.

Volunteer Donation Centre Assistant – the majority of our shops don’t have a lot of space to store donated stock, so our donation centre in Harrogate is crucial. You will be involved with unpacking deliveries, sorting and categorising donated items, and preparing donations for sale.

Volunteer eCommerce Assistant – ideal for someone looking to gain experience in marketing, customer service or retail, you will support with listing items on the charity’s online shop, taking engaging photos of items, and responding to customer enquiries.

Volunteer Van Driver – assist with the collection and distribution of stock between our donation centre, our three shops, and households in the local area.

Volunteer Driver (own vehicle) – assist with the collection and distribution of stock between our donation centre, our three shops, and households in the local area. Must have access to your own vehicle.

Don't worry if you've never done anything like this before - full training is provided.

Sign up ⯈

Other ways to support us

Whether you're looking for other volunteer opportunities, want to take part in a run, walk or cycle, or have your own ideas for supporting Yorkshire Cancer Research, all the information you need to get started can be found here. 

Get involved

Any questions?

If you have a question about volunteering in one of our shops, feel free to get in touch with us on 01423 877 233, or drop us an email at


Some of the most frequently asked questions have been answered below

FAQs ▼

Hear from our volunteers

There are many reasons that people donate their time to help out in a Yorkshire Cancer Research shop. Find out why volunteers from our Tadcaster shop keep on coming back. 

Find out more


Are there any age restrictions for volunteering?

Yes, volunteers need to be at least 16. 

Unfortunately, our insurance cover means we are unable to have volunteers over the age of 85.


Do I need any experience to become a volunteer? 

No, you don’t need any experience. We provide full training to help ensure you are confident and comfortable in your role. 

If you do have specific skills that you’d like to offer, please let us know and we’ll do our best to provide opportunities appropriate to your skills and interests.

What is the time commitment for volunteering?

There is no minimum commitment, so whether you can do a few of hours a week or once a month, we’d love to hear from you. All we ask is that you give us reasonable notice if you are no longer able to volunteer so we can make alternative arrangements.  

Will I need references? 

Yes, we ask each potential volunteer for the contact details of two referees. We know this can be difficult for some people, so if this will be a problem, please let us know.

Can I volunteer if I am claiming state benefits?

Yes, you can volunteer for as many hours as you like providing you can also meet the conditions of your benefit. For those claiming Universal Credit, volunteering can count to up to half the time you agree to spend looking for and preparing for work as part of your ‘Claimant Commitment’.

I have a criminal record. Does this mean I can’t volunteer?

A criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t volunteer with us. As part of the recruitment process we ask that you disclose any unspent convictions and we will take this into account when considering your suitability for the role. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 you do not need to disclose any spent convictions.

Some roles require a criminal records check.

Will you do a criminal records check?

Some volunteering roles may require a criminal records check, also known as a DBS check. If this is required for your role, we will let you know in advance. 

I have a disability. Can I volunteer with Yorkshire Cancer Research?

We encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering for Yorkshire Cancer Research to get in touch to see if we can offer you a suitable volunteering opportunity.

Will volunteering cost me anything?

We can reimburse out of pocket expenses that have been agreed in advance where we receive valid receipts. This includes lunch to up the value of £5 if you volunteer for a full day, and reasonable travel expenses to the place of volunteering. e.g. 45p a mile.