Monday, 2 December 2013

B is for Books...

I know, it's late to be posting on the Oxfam Lichfield Blog, but it's been a busy sort of a day. It's Day Two of our Alphabetical Advent, which means today is 'B'... And what is 'B' for, people?... It's for books, of course, and I've been in the shop this morning and bought two, despite the Book Diet. Bother the Book Diet, it's as bad as Food Diets. Never mind,  it's Christmas, after all (well, almost), so let's eat, drink, read and be merry. Anyway, here is today's Advent offering:

B is for Bags, 
For stashing your Booty
They hold lots of Books
So Buying’s a duty.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

A is for Advent
Assistance and Aid
Provided by Oxfam
With money you gave. 

Oh my fur and whiskers, as the White Rabbit said... it's December!!! Christmas is almost here, and the Countdown to the Big Day is under way. Here at Oxfam Lichfield our shelves are packed with goodies that will make wonderful pressies for your nearest and dearest – or seasonal treats for yourself. But you’d better make sure you’re not too late to snap up a bargain (I bet that slowcoach White Rabbit was never ready for Christmas)! To make sure you don’t miss out, throughout the festive season both our Lichfield shops will be open on Sundays between 11am and 3pm, in addition to our usual weekday trading hours. 
The White Rabbit (portrayed by John Tenniel) was never on time,
but Oxfam can help you be ready for Christmas!
Oxfam Books and Music will, of course, be selling books and music. We’ve got some fabulous reading and listening matter, that’s ideal for presents, as well as choccies, spices, jams, wrapping paper and cards. Down the road at our Main Shop there’s stacks more wrapping paper and gifts, the most gorgeous fair trade gifts, winter woollies to keep you warm, and glitzy party Johnfrocks for special occasions.

And we’re counting the days in traditional style, with our very own Advent Calendar, featuring products on offer in our shops, and highlighting Oxfam’s work. And, since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, we thought it would be fun to have an Alphabetical Advent, with one letter a day all the way through to December 25 (and a spare for Boxing Day)… But that’s not all… It is the festive season, after all, so the whole thing will be in rhyme… Our Poetic Posts will go ‘live’ on our Facebook Page ( at around 12 noon each day, but we’ll try and keep you up to date here as well, so you can read our daily verses and find out a bit more about Oxfam’s work. Today, obviously, is the first day, so we've got an 'A', and our rhyme is at the top of this post.

And we've included a link to the main Oxfam GB site, so you can take a look at the aid provided by the charity all over the world.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Books, Blogs and Bric-a-Brac!

OK people, let’s get this blog up and running, and tweak it as we go along! The design, for example, is likely to evolve over the next week or so, until we come up with something that we feel really represents Oxfam Lichfield. It’s a new venture, so please bear with us while we find our feet! 
Aladdin's Cave: Oxfam Lichfield's 'Main Shop'.
So I’ll start by introducing ourselves. We (as I’ve already said) are Oxfam Lichfield, which is a beautiful Cathedral City in Staffordshire, in the heart of England. We are very lucky because we have two stores here, and both are incredibly well supported by the public: people arrive every day with bags and boxes and baskets stuffed full of their unwanted goods. We’re always happy to turn their trash into cash, but some days we are so busy that the back rooms in both shops look like a hoarder’s heaven, with donations heaped high in the air, and barely a few inches of floor to be seen. But the stalwart crews of volunteers (one team based in each shop) are rarely fazed by the scale of the task which faces them. And before you can say Jack Robinson everything is cleaned, sorted, priced, and either stacked away neatly in the storage area, or put out on display. 

I should explain that the store we refer to as the ‘Main Shop’ has been here for many, many years, selling clothes, children’s toys, bric-a-brac, a huge range of new products, and all kinds of other goodies. The shop, at 16 Market Street, is like an Aladdin’s Cave, crammed with wonderful things and, given half a chance, I could browse there for hours! 
Working in the Back Room of Oxfam Lichfield's Main Shop.

Just a few doors away at 32 Market Street (within shouting distance!) is Oxfam Books and Music, which has just celebrated its third birthday and sells, as its name suggests, books and music! What else would you expect? We’ve got CDs and records (I know, everyone these days refers to vinyl, but I was brought up with records, and I’m much too old to change my ways now) to suit every musical taste, from Abba to Zappa, Mozart to Mahler, marches to melodies…  

Then there are the books, neatly placed on shelves and tables in the shop, and piled up (a little less neatly I’m afraid) on the storage racks in the back. We stock books on just about every topic you can imagine – and possibly some you’ve never thought of. There are frivolous books, serious books, books that make you laugh, books that make you cry, heavyweight academic volumes, lightweight fluffy novels, crime, sci-fi, fantasy, chick lit, classics… it just goes on and on! If you love books (and I do) then it’s a wonderful place to volunteer, but the downside is that I spend all my money on books!
Oxfam Books and Music, Lichfield... I must get a
better picture!
Running the two shops helps us provide vital funds on a regular basis for Oxfam’s work combating poverty and suffering, but we also respond to disasters and emergencies, and currently have a special collection on the go to help victims of the Philippine Typhoon. And we have an active programme of events to make money for Oxfam Unwrapped – next up is a Christmas disco and dance.

There, that’s quite enough for a First Post! In the months ahead I’m hoping to highlight Oxfam’s work, and keep you up to date about what we do at Oxfam Lichfield, and what’s going on at some of the local groups we’ve linked up with. And there are some lovely, inspiring stories from our volunteers, who want everyone to know how volunteering has changed their lives.
Pottering around in the Book Shop sorting area.
And our Countdown to Christmas starts next Sunday (I can’t believe it’s almost December): we’ve got something really special lined up to feature on our social media sites, but I can’t say a word about it… My lips are sealed until the Big Reveal on December 1.

In the meantime you can keep up to date with all our news on our Facebook page (, and you can also follow us on Twitter (@oxfamtwitter).