Prospect Hospice appeals for volunteers

By Barrie Hudson - 13 January 2022

  • Maureen Hayes said the charity helped one of her friends, and volunteering was a way of showing her gratitude

    Maureen Hayes said the charity helped one of her friends, and volunteering was a way of showing her gratitude

People looking for a rewarding experience in 2022 are asked to consider volunteering for Prospect Hospice.

  • Denise Sidebottom has made some great friends while volunteering

    Denise Sidebottom has made some great friends while volunteering

The Wroughton-based organisation is looking for enthusiastic and friendly people to join its charity shop volunteers in Swindon, and there are also opportunities in the Marlborough and Wroughton areas if preferred.

The charity says it has has a variety of roles available which will make a difference to the running of these shops, helping the charity to raise vital funds to enable it to support local people at the end of their lives, free of charge.

Su Starkey, head of volunteering, learning and inclusion at Prospect Hospice, said: “Our volunteers are vital to the work of Prospect Hospice; we couldn’t do what we do without them. Because of our volunteers giving their time, our shops are able to open and raise vital income for the hospice to provide care for people in their community at the end of their lives.

“We have a wide range of people volunteering in our shops and they come to us for all sorts of reasons. Some want to learn new skills while others like the social side of volunteering. For some, it provides the opportunity to improve their English as a second language or provides a stepping stone on the way back into work after some time off. 

“Whatever the reason, our volunteers also bring a benefit to the hospice, over and above the work they carry out for us. Our volunteers are our greatest ambassadors, enabling us to engage directly with our local community, telling them about our work and the part they’re playing in providing end of life care for those in their community.”

Student Angus Sharp, of Old Town, recently started volunteering at the charity’s books and media shop in Commercial Road as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.

He said: “I enjoy sorting, pricing and restocking the shelves. We get some wonderful books and records donated and I love putting them on the shelves, being picked up and taken away to their new home. It’s a great way to get some experience and I love serving and helping the customers. 

“Knowing that I’ve helped the hospice and the patients that they’ll care for in this small way means a great deal and I think of those people I’ll be helping each time I restock the shelves with new treasures.”

Maureen Hayes, who volunteers in Prospect Hospice’s Regent Street shop, said: “Prospect Hospice cared for one of my friends, so this is my little way of saying thank you. I serve customers on the till and I love it. Interacting with people and telling them about the hospice is a joy and it’s great that people know where their money is going and how they’re helping local people.”

Denise Sidebottom, of Stratton, has volunteered at a variety of Prospect Hospice shops for nine years, including West Swindon.

She said: “I help with a range of activities and there’s always something different to do. Volunteering with Prospect Hospice has enabled me to meet other people and I’ve made some great friends. 

"I love all the shop activities and I really enjoy helping the customers and supporting the other volunteers.” 

The charity has held the prestigious Investing in Volunteers award since 2016, which indicates it sets high standards for volunteer management and means that volunteers can be confident they will get a positive experience with the hospice. 

Volunteers can give as little as a few hours a week, and a number of shops are open seven days a week, giving people the flexibility to fit in with their other commitments.

The minimum age for volunteering in the shops is 14, and parental consent required for under-16s.

More information can be obtained in the shops, by emailing or by calling the voluntary services team on 07884 261259.

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