Shop story Volunteer story

Sharon’s story – What I enjoy about volunteering in our Queensway Shop

We talked with Sharon, who volunteers at our Queensway Charity Shop, about how she finds volunteering and being a part of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

How do you find Volunteering?

I really enjoy it. It’s varied, I do the till, replenish the stock, tidy up. But the bit I like most is engaging with the customers and just chatting. A lot of people I talk to have been touched by the Hospice in some way, so you get a real sense of the personal connection from people that you won’t get from any other generic shop. This is very much a local shop for the community.

Why St Wilfrid’s?

I’d done some volunteering before with AgeUK in Lyme Street and I worked in the kitchen as a waitress serving coffee and taking orders for a few years. Then I took a break from volunteering as I had other stuff on. Then I went onto just to have a look, and the St Wilf’s opportunity was there and I was drawn towards it as it was a local Hospice, so I applied and then came in to meet the manager and then started up.

Did you know about Hospice Care?

I knew it was there. One of my close neighbors was cared for in the Hospice and he died before I began to volunteer. I had been to visit him when he was in the Hospice and I was absolutely blown away by the 5-star hotel-like facility and the peacefulness of it all. Since working here, my views have been strengthened as I hear all these stories from people about how the Hospice looked after their loved ones. People want to share their story and I’ve never heard a negative story. They’ve all been heartwarming stories that leave the loved ones comforted.

What would you say to someone looking to volunteer?

Do it! You get as much out of it as the Hospice does. For me, I’m retired, so it means for two days a week I’m up and out by nine o’clock which is good discipline. And for the days I work, I get more done as I’m up and out early. You feel more part of the world and the community as you are engaging with something.

People often come in and chat and thank you just for talking to them. There are a lot of lonely people so it’s nice to be nice! It’s the feeling of giving back and knowing that I’m making a difference. It’s rewarding and enjoyable and you learn new skills. All my working life I was in an office so I haven’t worked the till since I was a teenager as a Saturday job. It’s great for your confidence.

What’s it like being part of the Team?

Working with Sue and Rachael is good fun, we all get on very well and I wouldn’t do it if we didn’t. As a volunteer, I’m choosing to do it and so if it wasn’t this fun and interesting I wouldn’t be here! Sometimes it’s more hard work than others but I do enjoy it.

It’s a good thing to do and anybody can do it. You will learn what you need, but as a key attribute, all you need is to be friendly and kind to people.

Inspired to spare a few hours and help make a difference to local lives in your community? Find out what vacancies we have here.

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