The wonderful world of #Fundraising #Volunteers #Hospiceheroes

wirral_hospice_gift_shop_elvesFundraising volunteers make up a major part of the fundraising team and without volunteer support in the gift shop, the Fundraising Office, our six charity shops and out at fundraising events the Hospice would struggle to raise the funds needed to provide the very important care that it gives to the Wirral community.

Our Hospice gift shop is open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm from September to January and is staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers who get the first glimpses of new stock, label them up and put them out for customers to see and, hopefully, buy. It is exciting every time new stock comes in and handbags and DSC_0211shoes always cause a bit of a stir within the office. This week, two of our shop volunteers, Linda and Barb, were labelling up some gorgeous new jewellery that had just arrived and they shared why they loved volunteering at the shop.  ‘I like being part of the fundraising team and giving something back’ says Linda, who looks forward to seeing customers she sees every year who buy their Christmas cards and gifts from our shop, Linda says ‘it’s really nice to get to know people and see them again and again’. Barb’s personal experience with the hospice bereavement group is part of why she volunteers ‘It was hard going to the group that first time, but I made some amazing friends and I’m glad I went’ Barb explained that she volunteers so that services like the bereavement group can continue.

DSCF5050The Fundraising Office has a volunteer on reception every day of the week, and each day in the office is different, along with answering calls on the reception desk, opening the post and doing admin duties, our office volunteers find themselves doing all manner of jobs to help the fundraising team each and every day. Sometimes it’s modelling the latest ebay item (we recently saw our Friday morning volunteer Pat out in the sunshine in a designer waterproof cape soon to appear on ebay– see picture), or wrapping the constant stream of raffle prizes for our events throughout the year, often our volunteers are answering the phone while labelling up the next weekend’s ever popular tombola. Karen, our Friday afternoon volunteer remembers coming in on a hot summer’s day wearing a Christmas jumper for a photograph for reopening of the Gift Shop (see above), Karen says ‘it was hot, but very funny and definitely worth it!’

Away from theJoanne Ashworth Fundraising Office we have six charity shops across Wirral; Claughton, Heswall, Liscard, Moreton, New Brighton and West Kirby. Each of these shops need on average twenty five volunteers per week to operate fully. This army of volunteers receive donations, organise and arrange stock, clean, tidy and decorate the shops along with greeting and selling to customers. Volunteers in these shops love to see what treasures have been donated, some of the largest being a 1980s trailer tent and a 1960s pram.  Sometimes we get some very unusual donations which cause a bit of a buzz among the retail team; often these rare beauties are taken back to the fundraising office to be listed on our ebay shop.

Along 03with volunteers who come into the Hospice and shops regularly we also have volunteers who come to our fundraising events and stalls to assist with tombolas, raffles, selling goods & refreshments etc.  Each event is different and there are many funny stories of wild British weather, or crazy fashion shows and fancy gala dinners. Behind many events there is a great deal of cake, and where we have refreshment stalls we have cakes lovingly baked for the Hospice by our baking volunteers who are called upon before an event to see if they are free to get cooking.  These donated cakes not only keep our refreshment stalls well stocked but provide great variety to each event, as there is always a different flavour available from the classic Victoria sponge to marmalade and butterscotch.

Our wonderful volunteers make the Hospice what it is today, whether they are in fundraising raising money, helping with the running of the hospice, serving refreshments in the Hub Café or supporting patients & their families, without their dedication and support the Hospice would struggle to exist.  We always need more volunteers and are looking for;

  • Fundraising Office Reception volunteer on Wednesday afternoons 1-4
  • Charity shop volunteers
  • Ebay volunteers

If you would like to join the fundraising team please call 0151 343 0778 or email jacintaw@wirralhospice.org and we will be able to provide you with more information on what opportunities are available.

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“No photos please, we’re shy!” #hospiceheroes #volunteersweek

wirral_hospice_thank_you_volunteers_weekThey may be unseen on this screen but they’re definitely visible in Wirral Hospice St John’s main reception. Presenting the face of the Hospice to visitors, Carol Huggins and Sue Owen are two of a faithful band of volunteers who work so hard in making the Hospice a welcoming place to all.

Carol began her volunteering career after she retired from Connexions (formerly known as Wirral Career Service).  A keen member of Eastham Women’s Institute for 20 years, Carol manages to help her daughter, volunteers here at Wirral Hospice and also at Claire House –  and squeezes in dog walking too!

Sue Owen has volunteered at the Hospice for the last five years.  Another very busy lady, she sings with two choirs and is an active member of the Wirral Manx Society.  Ask her what ‘Bonnag’ is? No, we didn’t know what it was either but the clue is that she loves cooking and can tell you all about it! Sue is well known in Hospice circles for her cakes, her favourites being a traditional Victoria Sandwich and the delectable-sounding Spanish Apple Cake, which she conjures up in aid of the Hospice for the open gardens scheme in the summer.

Thank you to Carol, Sue and our army of 500 volunteers who make Wirral Hospice so special because of their committed gift of time – you’re all Hospice Heroes and amazing. Thank you!

Author: Liz Rice, Wirral Hospice volunteer

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