Bury Hospice urgently appeals for volunteers

17 Sep 2020 11:27
Published by: Scott Callan

Vital to Bury Hospice are the volunteers who work in the shops and warehouse, and only 18% of the hospice's volunteers have returned since the coronavirus outbreak.

As the Hospice looks to re-open more of its retail units, it urgently needs more people to step forward and offer their time to help out.

Retail volunteers help organise donations, steam and label items for sale, replenish the shelves with stock and serve our customers. Drivers and the more physically robust help out with the heavy lifting of big items such as furniture. All of our shops adhere to government guidelines in relation to hygiene and infection control.

Sam Duncan, Head of Retail and Trading at Bury Hospice, said: "The hospice couldn't function without the support and dedication of our volunteers, but we need more. Before COVID hit we had 423 volunteers, and only 74 have come back to the hospice so far. A third of the income needed to run the hospice comes from our charity shops so without the workforce in place to help run them, the situation is critical. We are so grateful for the help we have experienced over the years - and we now need to urgently recruit a new volunteer workforce.

"We are particularly looking for people to volunteer in our shops. For those who volunteer for us, it is impossible to put a value on what they do - and what they get back from it. Anyone who has had a loved one cared for at the hospice knows what a difference it makes. "

The hospice has several shops throughout the borough, including in Bury town centre, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Prestwich.

The volunteers all have their own reasons for getting involved with the charity, some have a personal affiliation to the hospice, having seen loved ones cared for there, others do it for the social life. Volunteers receive training and there is a big social aspect to volunteering - people have made life-long friends.

Patsy Gibson, who started volunteering for Bury Hospice after she retired from nursing at the hospice in 2018, said: "I have also observed the great care and support that had been given to close friends of mine who were patients or attended the Day Hospice, which prompted my decision to get involved on retiring.

"I volunteer as a shop assistant at the hospice Bridal shop and Millgate Boutique. I love it and have learnt new skills.
"Personally the impact of supporting the hospice has given me a reason to get up every morning and feel that I am continuing to provide a worthwhile and satisfying role. I have found a new purpose, and have made many lovely friends."

All offers of help are greatly appreciated and by simply getting in touch your contribution, however big or small, will make a difference. Please contact Josie Bades via email josiebades@buryhospice.org.uk or telephone 0161 725 9800.

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