Volunteer spotlight: Spud, Oxfam Shop Volunteer of the year

Blogs, Volunteers article written on the 07 Oct 2016

Alan ‘Spud’ Jarrold has been working with Oxfam Shop Garden City since 2010. He is one of our very passionate supporters of Oxfam Shop and fair trade.

Spud drives for an hour to and from the Gold Coast to volunteer twice a week, he delivers furniture to customers in his own time after work, and he has deep and extensive product knowledge on all things Oxfam and fair trade. Spud recently won the Oxfam Trading Volunteer Award 2016 and attended the annual Oxfam Shop Conference held in Adelaide this September.

Petr Chalmers, Shop Manager at Oxfam Shop Garden City, nominated Spud for the 2016 Volunteer Award.

“I believed Spud would be an excellent addition to the Shop’s Conference 2016 because of the valuable contributions he would make. Spud is outgoing in his volunteering of appropriate ideas and has an open mind to the construction and development of ideas. Combined with Spud’s passion and sense of humour, this makes the investment in bringing Spud to the Conference 2016 one with returns on many levels,” said Petr.

Some of Spud’s achievements as a volunteer at the Oxfam Shop Garden City include sourcing musicians for fundraising and awareness events like ‘Shave for East Africa’,‘Songs for Vanuatu’, ‘Eat Local Feed Global,’ as well as VIP nights in-store.

Spud’s also been an Oxfam Trailwalker support crew member, participated in Oxfam QLD meetings and rallies, GROW campaign dinners, Oxfam QLD AGM meetings and helped out at the Mount Tambourine OXJAM event in 2015.

We asked Spud a few questions about his time volunteering with Oxfam:

Why Oxfam?

I am passionate about changing and combating human trafficking and slavery. I watched a documentary on human trafficking and slavery, which made me want to make a difference so I came into store, [and] talked to Petr and Kitty about making a difference.

Fair trade is a really good way to take action. I love fair trade because it helps others improve their lifestyle. The only difference between us and anyone else is geographical lottery. Fair trade helps by doing something about their human rights, improving their lifestyle through employment and community development and fighting for human right.

I like going to schools and doing educational talks, teaching about fair trade and the amazing people that we work with that share an amazing dedication for fair trade which is just phenomenal. A favourite event of mine is the annual QLD Fair Trade Collective Christmas markets. This event highlights all the amazing people doing great work with fair trade and there’s a very happy festive feeling at the event.

Favourite product at Oxfam Shop?

That would have to be the bombshell jewellery and the story behind it. I am passionate about Cambodia, using the by-products of war and transferring the message into something of peace;
cleaning the environment to make the land safe for kids and the community to develop.

The coffee and coffee chocolate are also my personal faves in the shop because they are delicious! My fave coffee is the Africa Blend. As a diabetic I can’t have sweets, but every now and then I spoil myself! Also Swazi Fire is insanely stupid hot and I’m hooked.

Best part of being in the Garden City team?

I love helping to develop new ideas to improve the shop and share my ideas through staff meetings, conversations in-store and with Oxfam groups outside the store. Some things we’ve done at Garden City since I’ve been there are events in-store, games nights, fundraiser events and had local musicians play gigs in the store.

I also help to support and train new volunteers and enjoy telling them producer stories and communicating product features and benefits. I also connect with the local community and businesses on the Gold Coast to promote fair trade and encourage them to go fair trade and place a commodities order with the Oxfam Shop.

Outside the Shop?

I recently became a member of the newly formed Oxfam Gold Coast group and attend all their meetings to discuss and carry out goals. I like to focus on championing fair trade and promoting the Oxfam Shop. Usually, I’ll buy some Oxfam chocolate from the shop to take to meetings! The Oxfam Gold Coast group has also been focusing on connecting with local coffee shops to help them promote their existing fair trade coffee better and ensure they are educating their customers on the benefits of purchasing fair trade coffee.

I’ve been working with the Oxfam Gold Coast group on an event which will have a fair trade focus and bring the work of Oxfam and the shop into the spotlight. This should help promote awareness and provide sales for the shop.

How was the Shop Conference?

I really enjoyed the chance to meet all the staff who are doing such wonderful work with Oxfam. I found it an inspiration to hear from two of our producer partners — Chandra from Sana Hastakala and Lucas from Asha Handcrafts — reminding me what we do has real impact on the lives of the artisans producing for Oxfam. I want to take this back to the shop and continue to tell these stories and do what we do better with greater depth than ever before.

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