To entice new recruits, they are holding a Volunteer Recruitment Day on Saturday 18 March, 9am to 5pm, at the Ashbourne charity shop based in Unit 5 of the Shawcroft Centre on Dig Street. Those interested can chat with staff and existing volunteers about the opportunities and take away some freebies while stocks last!
Money raised through the charity shop supports Treetops Hospice Care which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire free of charge.
Last year, Treetops Hospice at Home nurses provided over 1,000 hours of care to the Ashbourne community.
‘I’ve got to do something, I’ve got to put something back’
Ashbourne local Gill Brown, 74yrs, has been volunteering at the shop for five years as she explained:
“My husband Derek died five year ago and when he was diagnosed, it was around then that the shop first opened. I thought volunteering would be an outlet for me as Derek had been diagnosed but we weren’t sure then how long he would live – though we knew it was terminal.
“As Derek got worse with his illness, I devoted all my time to him and I became exhausted, emotionally and physically. The community nurse said she would get in contact with Treetops and ask for some night care.
“I can’t tell you how much that meant. The Hospice at Home nurses came a couple of times a week and to know that Derek was being looked after so professionally and so well, I was able to sleep. Prior to that I was up and down all night and you become very, very tired. When the nurses came I was able to go sleep with peace of mind knowing that if he needed pain relief, they were able to give it him.
“Derek was able to stay at home where he wanted to be and that meant a lot to him but for us as a family it meant so much too.
“Derek passed away and a few weeks after I thought ‘I’ve got to do something, I’ve got to put something back’ and that’s when I started to come in regularly.”
Volunteering is rewarding in so many ways
Gill knows that her volunteering time makes a huge difference to others and herself:
“I did it initially to put something back but coming here has also done a lot for me. It’s given me a purpose – knowing that whatever few hours I can do, someone else is going to benefit from that care. That really makes you feel good about yourself, that you are making a difference in a small way to someone else in that position and their loved one will be helped.
“I come in three times – about nine hours a week. The people I work with are such a lovely team. It’s light-hearted and I look forward to coming. There’s always a job to do – working behind the till, dusting and polishing, steaming the clothes before they go on the shop floor – and one important thing is speaking to customers. Very often we get customers who do want to have a chat – they may be elderly people who don’t see many people in the day. Very often they have gone through similar things, losing their loved ones.
“Volunteering is rewarding in so many ways. I’d love people to come forward because every little helps and they would find it did them good too. It makes you feel useful and good about yourself.”
Join our team
Imogen Hopkins, volunteer services coordinator explained that without the volunteers, Treetops would not be able to raise the vital funds needed to provide the hospice services:
“Here at the Ashbourne shop, we have a very welcoming and friendly team and various roles throughout the store to fill – so whether you love fashion, bric-a-brac, or just enjoy meeting people, we would love you to join our team.
“No experience is necessary as one to one training is given. Many of our volunteers have gained experience and confidence while volunteering which has helped them gain employment.”
The Volunteer Recruitment Day is being held on Saturday 18 March, 9am to 5pm, at the Treetops Hospice Care charity shop, Unit 5 Shawcroft Centre, Dig Street, Ashbourne, DE6 1GD.
Treetops services are available free of charge and include Support and Information, a Day Care unit based in Risley, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.