Extravagant displays, a treasure trove of donated items and a diverse team of volunteers, Oxfam is a much-loved gem on Bethnal Green Road. We spoke to Kellyann Saunders, the shop manager of the charity shop, to learn more about what she does and what the team have been up to.
LBG: How long has Oxfam been a part of the Bethnal Green community?
KS: Well, we opened the shop in March 2019 and the rest is history
LBG: What is your favourite part about what you do?
KS: My favourite part about what I do is all the fabulous donations we receive. It shows the amazing generosity of Bethnal Green.
LBG: What makes your team special?
KS: Besides me (haha)?! My team is all volunteer based. They are so diverse, generous with their time, and very willing to help with all the projects I tend to throw at them.
LBG: Can you tell us about any community or larger projects that Oxfam has taken part in?
KS: We recently collaborated with Oxford House showcasing some of the 1970s photographs promoting their Youth of Yesterday exhibition. The window display drew lots of people seeing images of them as youngsters! That was fun.
LBG: Are there any upcoming projects that you would like to share with us?
KS: I hope to hold more pop ups this year. We like to showcase artists (mostly local) selling their designs in store for two days. Like a stall, but cooler!
LBG: Are there any ways that local people can get involved, such as volunteering opportunities?
KS: Yes we always have volunteering roles to offer and they just have to pop in store for information and then apply online by just googling Oxfam Bethnal Green. It’s that easy.
LBG: What are your favourite kinds of donations to receive?
KS: Clean and one of a kind items!
LBG: What is the most obscure or interesting donation that you have received?
KS: We had a volume of rare vintage psychic books, a rare and beautiful leather bound parish council minutes book (over 12 years old) with amazing copper plate handwriting, and some amazing 60s glassware – just to name a few!