Work Experience

Shopping at BHFOur life-saving work would not be possible without the commitment of people who give their time to support the charity by working in our shops across the UK - helping the fight against heart disease.

While the reasons people give their time to us are numerous, we know that working with us can help to develop new skills, and offer valuable experience of working in a busy retail environment. For that reason we’re pleased to give people the chance to take part in periods of work experience with us.

Every new person goes through the same process, irrespective of which route they have used to come through our doors. Our shop managers have a discussion with all applicants to ensure that their joining us is appropriate and mutually beneficial. If either side feels that this will not be the case, the applicant will not take up a position with us.

Benefiting from training

BHF storeWhile the support that we offer to all those working with us depends on the time that they are with us and the nature of any placement, we know that many have benefitted from training provided by us. We have supported people to complete an NVQ in Retail or Customer Service. Last year alone we helped over 800 staff and volunteers gain vocational qualifications.

People on schemes and placements regularly go on to find paid work with the BHF or elsewhere.

At the moment, there are around 15,000 people giving their time to support us by working in our Shops across the UK. All the opportunities we provide are voluntary. We are no longer involved in the Mandatory Work Activity scheme or the Work Programme. We are not involved in the Help to Work scheme.

We review the operation and effectiveness of all schemes regularly and make changes to our participation as necessary. It is important that any work placement with us achieves positive results for all involved.

We have recently established an important partnership with Job Centre Plus to actively promote volunteering as an option for anyone who is unemployed and wants to gain work experience.

Our supporters are welcome to contact us directly if they have any questions about our participation in the scheme. Please email