One such staff member is Tamsin Matthews, a charismatic, people person who radiates energy to her staff, volunteers and customers.

She lives her life by the Red Cross principles and is proud to manage stores that are a part of a movement that respects diversity.

“Volunteering for Red Cross was perfect for me. I wasn’t doing anything at the time and there’s only so much Dr Phil and Oprah Winfrey one can watch before going crazy!”

She worked for three months as a volunteer shop coordinator before the role became a 20-hour a week, paid position. She splits her working week between the Kilbirnie and Upper Hutt Red Cross shops, which she manages.

“Red Cross’ principles really interest me. I’m transgender so I feel like I can really fit in and that Red Cross accepts me. I love and truly value the principles and live my life by them.”

Tamsin has been working in Red Cross shops for the past four years. She started in Upper Hutt as a volunteer after seeing a vacancy sign outside the store.

She credits the shops’ to her fantastic team of volunteers and friendly customers. The shops are at the heart of the community, providing a meeting place and attracting volunteers from all walks of life.

“The job is fabulous, I get to meet all sorts of people. I love it.”

Rostering and customer service are a big part of Tamsin’s role but she loves being out on the shop floor and interacting with the staff, volunteers and customers.

“I’m a people person, I like getting out there and meeting all the different people from the community.

“The amazing volunteers I work with each have their own individual stories and reasons for volunteering and are really inspiring.”

This isn’t the first time Tamsin has being involved with Red Cross. She was the secretary of the Upper Hutt branch for a year, before stepping down in search of a more hands-on role.

“Red Cross respects you and appreciates diversity, I’m so proud of what Red Cross does out there in the community and worldwide.”

Tamsin says volunteering with Red Cross is a great stepping stone to making a career.

“Whether you’re interested in retail, or if English is your second language, volunteering is a good way to build up your skills.”

After volunteering in a Red Cross shop, volunteers have the opportunity to gain a free level retail qualification which is great for the CV.

If you are interested in volunteering for a Red Cross shop or donating goods you can find out more here.