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St Nicholas Hospice Care shop volunteer

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Jean – Shop volunteer

How did you get involved with volunteering at the shop?

I retired recently and I felt a bit of a void. I’ve always been a busy person. One day I was just out shopping and saw the notice in the shop window, so I went in and straight away Sarah, the manager, took me under her wing and wouldn’t let me leave! I was a carer for ten years before I retired so I really missed being with people, and this fills that gap.

Do you have any connection with the Hospice?

No, but I had heard of it because I was a carer.

What is your role at the shop?

I work on the shop floor so I mainly work at the till, but it’s so varied at the shop. I quite often dress the windows which is my favourite thing to do, especially when people compliment it – it gives you a bit of a buzz. It’s as varied as you want it to be, there’s no pressure to do anything you don’t want to.

Why do you enjoy it?

It’s something I’ve never done before, I worked in commercial manufacturing before I was a carer which was very stressful with lots of deadlines. I’m drawn to doing things that are different. I’m a real people-person and I missed to one-to-one contact with people that I got from the care sector. Working at the shop, customers often talk to me about their experience with the Hospice and, in a way, I feel like I’m still a carer.

Why would you recommend it?

There’s so many jobs to be done and you can choose what you want to do. One volunteer here absolutely loves ironing so comes in and just irons for four hours! For me, it’s the connection with people that makes it enjoyable.

How often do you work?

I work 9-4 on Wednesdays and sometimes cover holidays and things like that, but there’s no pressure to do more. You just do how much you want to do.

What do you get out of it?

I feel as though I make a difference, not just to the Hospice, but for the customers as well. I’m there to do a job – to sell.