Saturday, April 27, 2013

What do we do all day?

I thought it might interest people to get an idea of what our volunteers actually do all day (and how very hard they work!)

The details in this post are extracted from the productivity targets for our bookshop at 188 Mill Road in Cambridge.





  • 100 fresh items put out, either by filling up spaces and gaps made by sales or by replacing some of the items which have been on the shop floor the longest.
  • Mark down the items taken off which were priced under £5 to 30p (paperbacks) or 50p (hardback) and put in one of the sale boxes. Put items which were priced over £5 items in the basement store to try again later or put online.


  • “Fresh this week” shelf books rotated off and shelved in correct sections, replacing the oldest of the books already in a section (either mark these down for 30p or 50p box or store in basement). This adds roughly 100 more fresh books to the shop floor.
  • Window display books changed and and shelved in their sections, replacing older books which should be rotated off.
  • 7 boxes of paperbacks rotated off the shelves, replaced with fresh and marked down for 30p sale.
  • 3 boxes of hardbacks rotated off the shelves, replaced with fresh and marked down for 50p sale.
  • 10 World of Books crates filled with books previously offered in 30p or 50p boxes and damaged books unsuitable to be offered for sale.
(World of Books are the book wholesalers who purchase unsold and damaged books from us to be either sold on or recycled if they are too damaged to read).

Monthly targets

  • No more than 5% lost trading days due to lack of volunteer cover (out of potential 7 days per week).
  • 25% gift aid sales.
  • Monthly takings (including revenue from sale to World of Books) £1,900
The aim is to crank these targets up gradually so that income rises and we can help more animals.

If you are in Cambridge, please visit the shop and support our hard working volunteers. We also need your book donations;  please bear us in mind if you are having a sort out or disposing of books your children have grown out of.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Not on the telly

THANK-YOU to the anonymous RSPCA officers mentioned here for their unsung, hard work.

David Heath (Somerton and Frome, Liberal Democrat)

I also want to put on record the strong impression that I had in Cumbria that the farming community and the wider rural community have responded in a positive and big way. A lot of mutual support went on and continues to go on. People helped one another, and farmers who were not affected searched for sheep on their neighbours’ holdings when they realised that they were in trouble. That is the country way and it is what we expect, but it was happening.

People who were not connected with farming also lent their support. I will mention one group of people, an organisation that occasionally we have differences of opinion with. It was pointed out to me how profoundly helpful the RSPCA officers in the area had been, lending a hand and getting stuck in, not in strict pursuance of their duties as RSPCA officers but because they cared about the animals and the farmers and wanted to do their bit. 

(Hansard debates: Upland Sheep Farmers, 23rd April)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Start RSPCA Week with a THUNDERCLAP!

RSPCA Week is our major annual fundraising event and we need your help to make it stand out.

Help us start RSPCA week with a bang by showing your support with the Thunderclap app

This basically acts as a virtual "reservoir" that saves a Tweet or facebook status update from you until a specified time when it will release all the stored updates together.

The point of this is that it makes much more impact if 100 people show their support at the same time than it would if the same people tweeted or updated over a few days.

To help the project succeed, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Login FIRST to either your twitter or your facebook account.
  2. Go to
  3. Click either the "Support with Twitter" or "Support with Facebook" buttons (NOT the link further down which just shows you more information).
  4. You will be offered a standard message which the app will send on your behalf on Monday 29th at the start of RSPCA week. By default this is "It's #RSPCAWeek - #TimetoCareTimetoAct for animal welfare. I've taken an action to support the RSPCA. You can too:" but you can customise it if you don't like the message although it's most useful if you don't change the words marked by "#" as this makes them stand out on Twitter.
  5. Click the "Add my support button"
  6. Twitter or Facebook will put up a dialogue box asking your permission to let the app view your PUBLIC details and post a message to your timeline on your behalf. It WON'T give access to your direct messages or password.
  7. Click the "Authorize app" button
  8. This will add you to the list of supporters and send you back to the app
  9. You can choose to share the fact that you've signed up at this stage, but you don't have to - steps 1-8 are enough.
(Wearing my IT support hat, can I point out that you should NEVER give your Twitter or Facebook password to a program or app. The steps shown above are safe because Twitter is responding to a request from you to send some information via Thunderclap and Thunderclap never gets to know your non-public information).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013