British Heart Foundation Retain


The BHF runs the largest and most successful network of charity shops in the UK. In fact, with over 560 standard shops and 175 Furniture & Electrical (F&E) stores, they have one of the largest retail networks in the country.
However, unlike other traditional retailers, they heavily rely on the good will and hard work of volunteers. There are in the region of 22,000 volunteers working for BHF, and the recruitment and retention of these volunteers is key to the successful running of their operation.
The face of volunteering is changing: BHF witnessed volunteering levels plateau and the number of hours given are decrease. So they can no longer rely on the traditional volunteer model and need to find new ways to recruit a wider range of people with different skills.

The Brief

Communicate to new potential volunteers and further engage existing warm volunteers to drive response in a longer term campaign-able identity in an integrated approach across the retail environment as well as digital communications.

The Work

Understanding that there is no one size fits all, we created a volunteer centric campaign that delivers against specific roles within the BHF retail stores, tailoring each role against the broad range of volunteer skills that are beneficial to the business. Key messaging highlighted further benefits associated to volunteering with BHF across all roles which in some cases can lead to both a) hard and b) soft benefits such as qualifications and paid for opportunities vs. increase in self confidence within the work place and feeling part of a social group respectfully. This creative provided a mutual value exchange which is tangible and resonates with the audience. Conscious that we are asking for people to volunteer in their precious spare time, we also felt that it was important to highlight the flexibility that this work can offer.


Campaign went live in April 2016

Elements to the campaign

Research: Spending time with key store staff at BHF retail shops gaining deeper insight into volunteer roles and their motivations.

Development of Strategy: Determined the strategic positioning for the volunteer recruitment and retention campaign. Including developing an overarching volunteer proposition that could be tailored for the key audiences. Plus a proposal for how to address the recruitment of key roles.

Creative Development

Photo Shoot – using real BHF volunteers

Creative Assets

Retail Posters
Retail leaflets
Online Display ads
Social media ads
Web assets