Rita wants everyone to know what volunteering has meant to her....and to encourage others to put themselves forward for a new challenge now that our shops are open again.

Having lost both parents and a couple of friends recently, and seen the support given by Tapping House Hospice here (and another Hospice in Birmingham), I decided I’d like to 'give back'. We already do the Hospice Lottery, and I often pop into the various charity shops to buy things….so what could I do?

I had a few hours spare each week so I decided to volunteer at my local shop in Hunstanton. I emailed the charity and was soon contacted by someone who invited me in for a chat. This was in February 2020. I’d done two shifts in the shop, was getting my bearings when LOCKDOWN happened.

Fast forward to now, the shop has reopened, I was very glad to get back to some routine. The safety measures put into place were brilliant and are constantly being updated to follow Government guidelines. The shop, although small, is a wonderful place to volunteer. The manager and deputies are all great to work with and really care about the charity.

We have our regular customers who pop in, at the same time and day each week and we get to know them and what they like to buy. Being by the seaside, we obviously get lots of holiday makers, both day trippers and caravanners, and it’s amazing the amount of certain things we sell on certain days. Jumpers and coats when it’s a bit chilly or wet and swimming costumes and shorts when it’s a hot sunny day….. not to mention the books, jigsaws and kitchen bric a brac.

I am constantly amazed by the generosity of the donors, the amount and quality of the stuff donated sometimes is fantastic. And I often buy something each week I volunteer, so it’s a win-win situation for us all.

Working at the shop has been great for me personally, it’s boosted my confidence, given me some routine and improved my interpersonal skills. Working as part of the team, and managing my time has also been a bonus for me! As well as working on the till, we tag all the items, put things out in the shop, help create displays and generally keep the shop looking good for the customers. It’s a real team spirit and we laugh every shift!

So if anyone reading this fancies a new challenge and has a few hours spare a week and would like to 'give back' and make a difference, please consider volunteering at one of the hospice shops.

Does Rita's story make you feel like volunteering? Look at our Volunteer Opportunities