Hospice Care Week – We need your support by volunteering in our shops

Havens Hospices needs more shop volunteers to help raise money as the Coronavirus forces it to pull back in other areas of fundraising.

Havens Hospices operates 23 shops across Essex and help to raise vital funds for adults, young people and children living with complex and incurable conditions across the county.

The pandemic means the charity cannot run any of its public fundraising events like the Southend Half Marathon, Chelmsford Marathon or tin collections. Therefore, the shops are playing an even bigger part in raising money for the hospices – more than £40,000 per week – as well as being part of its local community and high streets.

Last year, it took approximately 550 shop volunteers to keep its stores running and raising money for the charity, giving 107,328 hours of their time and saving the charity approximately £1.4 million. All 23 shops collectively generated gross sales of £2.9 million.

Not only is volunteering diverse and rewarding, but by playing a role in the local community, volunteering can become a fulfilling part of someone’s life and lead to new opportunities and friendships. Volunteering is also an ideal way to share skills or learn new ones which can look great on someone’s CV when applying for jobs in the future.

One of the charity’s volunteers who is giving up his time for Havens Hospices is Jonathon Taylor, who works at the charity’s Witham shop every Saturday.  He is 19 years old and has been volunteering at the shop for three years alongside his apprenticeship, training to be a chef. Back in June when the shop reopened after lockdown, Jonathon kindly carried out several extra shifts whilst he was on furlough leave from work.

Jonathon says: “I find balancing being an apprentice chef with volunteering easy as I volunteer at the weekend when I am not working. It is something I enjoy that is completely different from my apprenticeship.  I like working with others and learning new and different skills.  To anyone thinking of volunteering I would say come and join us, learn new skills, make new friends and support a great cause.”

Faye Kadesh, Volunteer Services Manager at Havens Hospices says “If it weren’t for volunteers, Havens Hospices would not be able to provide palliative nursing and supportive care to adults and children with complex or incurable conditions free of charge – they are the backbone of the organisation and we truly couldn’t function without them.

“The majority of our shop volunteers are now back following lockdown and are working harder than ever to support the charity deal with the increase of donations we have been experiencing since our reopening on 15th June. This is a fantastic and varied role suitable for anyone of any ability and age that wants to join the organisation to fulfil our Vision of ‘Making every day count’ for every one we care for. From sorting donations, cleaning and serving customers, every shop volunteer helps make a difference.”

To find out more about the latest volunteer vacancies in our shops including assisting with our eBay site, please call the Volunteer Services team on 01702 426237 or email volunteering@havenshospices.org.uk. To find out where your nearest local shop visit www.havenhospices.org.uk/charityshops.

Published 6th October 2020

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Witham Shop volunteer sorting a clothes rail in a charity shop