Chester probation staff share their time for charity

Chester probation staff share their time for charity image

Share Shop in Chester

Colleagues from Chester’s probation office are volunteering their time at a charity dedicated to helping the homeless and refugees.

Every member of staff has committed to spend a day at a Share Shop for the Homeless. The shop, which was opened in January of this year, helps raise money for the charity SHARE that was set up by a collection of people of business in Cheshire and North Wales in October 2015.

Chester probation is the first team from across the Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC) to participate in the Give a Day of Your Time initiative, a scheme run by Interserve – CGM CRC’s parent company. The project encourages colleagues to take a day’s paid leave per year working for a charitable organisation.

Val Barker, case manager, is a probation services officer at the Chester office and has supervised offenders who have themselves benefitted from Share Store’s services. He set up an agreement with the charity that will see a member of staff working at the charity every Thursday.

He said: “It’s a charity that’s close to my heart because I’ve seen first hand the benefits Share Store brings to disadvantaged people.

“I was proud to spend a day working for the charity. I found the whole experience very rewarding and the day just flew by. It was an extremely worthwhile day and I’d strongly recommend for others to Give a Day of Your Time.”


Val helped collect food donations from a Sainsbury’s store in the morning, served coffee and assisted people in need of clothing and footwear.

Anne-Marie Chamberlain, Share Store manager, said: “Val and the team for CGM CRC have been really useful, literally helping out all over the shop.

“As a charity we’re reliant on volunteers to be able to help both local homeless people and refugees wherever they’re to be found. That’s why we’re so grateful, not only for the good will of Val and the other volunteers, but also for the fact that their employers are willing to facilitate their charitable activities with a programme like Give a Day of Your Time.”

Chris Edwards, CGM CRC’s chief executive, said: “We’re proud of all of the staff in our Chester office who have selflessly given their time to such a worthy cause. The fact that such a positive outcome has been facilitated by our adopting Interserve’s ‘Give a Day of Your Time Scheme’ demonstrates not only the worth of the scheme but also our ongoing commitment to the communities in which we live and work.”