It takes all sorts…find out what role fits you, we’re currently looking to add to our Saturday team #york

It takes all sorts…find out what role fits you, we’re currently looking to add to our Saturday team #york

via It takes all sorts…find out what role fits you, we’re currently looking to add to our Saturday team #york.

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It takes all sorts… we’re currently r

It takes all sorts… we’re currently recruiting for our weekend teams. If you’re interested let us know #york

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Fall in love with books again

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This Valentine’s weekend we are encouraging their customers to have a blind date with a book. To avoid judging the books by their covers they are all wrapped in plain paper with a few tantalising clues written on them to suggest their identity.

For a donation of two pounds we are hoping customers will fall for the inner beauty of the books. All money raised will go towards provide safe water for those who need it most.

From Thursday 13th February to Sunday 16th February


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Christmas with a Difference

At Oxfam Books, we love Christmas. If you happen to pop into the shop you’ll notice we’ve already got into the swing of the festive season, selling a range of seasonal products from Fairtrade advent calendars to Christmas crackers as the countdown to Christmas officially gets underway! But this year, what we love even more is Christmas with a Difference.

Christmas with a Difference is a special event run by St Michael le Belfrey Church, with the aim being to help you make a difference this Christmas by showing you how your spending can help others. Oxfam will have a stall at the event, which takes place from 10.30am – 4pm on Saturday 23rd November, and we will be selling our range of beautiful Christmas cards and other holiday gifts with all of the profits going towards Oxfam’s work. This event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of Oxfam and their fantastic work to eradicate poverty around the world. By purchasing one of our Christmassy items, you can kick-start the holiday season knowing that you are making a difference to somebody living in poverty this Christmas.

Oxfam will be at St Michael’s Christmas with a Difference event all day, so pay us a visit this Saturday and see if anything festive takes your fancy, whilst learning how you can make a difference over the holiday season. With free refreshments provided all day and a whole host of local charities attending, how could you say no?!

Details of the event can be found here.

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New opportunities

It’s been a long, busy summer here at Oxfam Books, which has seen our blog take a two month hiatus. With winter hot on our heels, we’ve finally found time to get back in the blogosphere, and we’re starting by recruiting some new members to join our team (we’re friendly, we promise!).

Although we always welcome new volunteers here at Oxfam Books Petergate, this time we also have some more specific roles opening up in the shop that offer diverse experience with a range of really great transferable skills, and only require a few hours a week of your time!

We’re looking for a few volunteers to help us with the online side of our business, so recruiting online sales volunteers is first on the list of new roles! Developing the online business could involve researching book prices, assisting in photographing items for selling and managing the sales of these items through websites such as eBay and Abe Books. Online sales play a huge role in our shop and volunteering just four hours a week can make a huge difference to eradicating poverty, as well as giving you the chance to really expand your skills. You don’t need to have a business degree to help us with this side of the shop, or even have direct experience – a strong, savvy mind will do us just fine!

We’re also in need of volunteers to offer four hours a week of their time to spend at the shop, whether that be stocking books, selling books or helping run the social media side of Oxfam Books. Volunteering here is varied and exciting – and we even throw in a tea-break every so often!

Oxfam are dedicated to raising money to end poverty, and volunteering for just a few hours a week really contributes towards this. We rely on our dedicated volunteers to keep us running smoothly, so if you’re interested in assisting with our online sales or in the shop, we’d love to hear from you! Pop into the shop for a chat, fill out a volunteer form online  here or send us an email:


Tel: 01904 652749

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What Are You Doing This Weekend?


This weekend, an epic endurance test will ensue in Sussex’s South Downs National Park. Trailwalker 2013 is a 100km challenge across the South Downs Way. The walk has to be completed within 30 hours.  Orginally a training exercise for Gurkhas, the walk started 31 years ago and it was only 11 years ago when it became open to the public. The Queens Gurkha Signals Regiment (QGS) partnered with Oxfam in 2002, enabling the endurance challenge to help raise millions of pounds for humanitarian projects around the world, as well as for the Gurkha Welfare Service. The walk is a mental challenge as much as a physical one, and while applications for undertaking the 2013 walk are now closed, volunteer positions are still available. Starting at Queen Elizabeth County Park, Petersfield, there are nine checkpoints where enthusiastic volunteers will be stationed to aid the walkers with everything from moral support and cups of tea to physiotherapy, blister plasters and foot massages. There is over 2,000 people entered into the walk and volunteer support is trailwalker volunteersinvaluable to all the teams. Oxfam reimburse travel expenses up to £60 for all volunteers and it is an excellent opportunity to help out, have loads of fun with friends, or meet new, like-minded people. Click here to sign up. 

If you’re not free this weekend, there are still so many diverse opportunities to give your time to at Oxfam. It’s not just fundraising or helping out at your local shop. There are always exciting and fun one-off events like Trailwalkers. It might be just what you are looking for if you are not able to give your time regularly but are looking for a way to help. A great way of keeping up to date with our event opportunities is joining the dedicated Oxfam events facebook page here.

Not free on the weekends, or fancy gaining some office experience? Another option are the volunteer internships available at one of Oxfam’s regional offices. This is a really exciting opportunity to gain experience of how a large organisation runs and to see things from a different perspective. It needn’t be said that it looks great on a C.V., too. They are usually 2-3 days a week for a period of anything from 3 to 12 months, still making it viable to work elsewhere at the same time. Some internships currently being featured include a Public Relations Intern in London, Research Intern in Oxford and a Public Engagement Intern in Bristol. Why not give it a go and apply? You never know what might come of it.

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Lost and Found


Have you ever found something that didn’t belong to you in a book you were reading? What did you do with it?

Those regulars to our Petergate shop and those who like to keep up to date with our goings on, might have noticed our current window display. Gaining the interest of the York Press a couple of weeks ago, as well as Oxfam’s national ‘shop of the week’ nomination, the ‘Found’ display has been intriguing Yorkies and tourists alike, stopping to inspect what it is all about.

Using old OS maps as a backdrop to echo the element of discovery the items hold, our display is made up wholly of ‘stuff’ – for want of a better word – found in books donated to us over the last few months. Be it an anonymous black and white portrait photograph of a dark haired, beautiful, serious looking woman; a signed cigarette card of George Harrison sporting a goofy smile; a booklet of a sermon from 1857; a postcard addressed to ‘mum’; Van Morrison tickets from 1995, they were all ‘found’ in donated books to Oxfam, perhaps once used as a makeshift bookmark or slipped inside for safe keeping to only be forgotten about.

What struck me when I had a first proper look at the display was that, despite the disparate nature of many of these little pieces of ‘found’ history, they all have underlying similarities and connections. They are all about people: genuine human experience, memories and emotions. Bringing together otherwise unconnected lives and eras like this makes you realise how many things actually change very little. I smiled when seeing a flyer for ‘Darren’s Soul Night’ at the Hippodrome in London (9pm – 3.30am) on Wednesday 14th October 1987. It could have easily been a flyer handed to me on my way to the office this morning, perhaps with some appropriately underground house or dance DJ being advertised instead, but the timings, the location and the idea of dancing ‘til the sun rises still firmly in place. Each item provides a snippet of strangers’ lives, passed unknowingly on to another stranger, and maybe more thereafter. It is up to the unwitting recipient to build a story behind the photograph, the letter, the train ticket, the gig, the postcard.

Ultimately, it reminded me of the passing on of books in general. Reading a great novel or collection of poetry can be a very personal experience, but it also connects you to those who have also had that same pleasure. All the books on our shelves have been enjoyed by others and this local level of recycling connects us all. The ‘found’ display is a great reminder of the community impact of the shop, as well as the impact its donations have to projects around the world. Books can pass through many lives in their lifespan and every so often one of its owners will leave – on purpose or by accident – a little clue or insight into their life; becoming a story in itself, alongside the stories within the books themselves.  If you haven’t been already, come on in to the shop to have a look at the display and you can create some stories for yourself.

All the items are for sale and of great nostalgic, historical or anecdotal interest. Pop in to see for yourself.


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