Every year more than 3,000 people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness, and their families, are supported throughout east Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney by the free specialist palliative care provision of St Elizabeth Hospice.
This care is provided by hospice staff who operate throughout the region but who are supported by a fantastic team of volunteers, whose generosity enables St Elizabeth Hospice to continue evolving its services to care for more people in the local community.
“I have known quite a few people who have received care from St Elizabeth Hospice over the years, but my volunteering all started from walking past the hospice’s Bramford Road shop (now Bramford Road E-commerce Hub),” explained Denise Gibbins, who has volunteered for St Elizabeth Hospice’s retail team since 2006.
“Something just caught my eye and I popped into the shop, got chatting to the staff and I have not looked back since.”
As part of the team, at St Elizabeth Hospice’s Bramford Road E-commerce Hub, Denise volunteers half a day a week, helping with researching donated items which have been chosen to be sold online via the hospice online shop or the hospice’s eBay site.
She added: “Before retiring I had worked for a bank for a number of years, so I was computer literate but had a very basic understanding of eBay, Etsy and other online selling platforms. However, the hospice team have been so good in training me on how to research and value items, and I have gradually become more confident with their support.
“Prior to the Bramford Road shop becoming Bramford Road E-commerce Hub, in 2021, I enjoyed serving on the tills and getting to know regular customers but since the shop has evolved, I have learnt a range of skills through a new volunteering role which is equally rewarding.
“Outside of volunteering, I enjoy gardening, socialising with friends and going on holiday, and the hospice team are always very flexible and accommodating with my volunteering shifts. They really do appreciate any time you can give to support the hospice.
“Working in the e-commerce team, you see a wide range of items which we have to research and this definitely makes the role very interesting. I have researched and valued everything from violins and guitars through to high value crockery.
“I must admit it really is an exciting and rewarding process, when you see an item you have researched and valued go on to sell and raise much needed funds for the hospice.
“It is a privilege to be able to give my time to support the hospice, as it is charity which is there to support so many people and their families at a time when care is needed most.
“Volunteering is something I would recommend to anyone. The hospice offers volunteering taster sessions and the team are always happy to hear from new people, who are considering giving volunteering a try.
“You never know, you may love volunteering and go on to gain great experiences from it, all while supporting an important local cause in St Elizabeth Hospice.”
To learn more about volunteering opportunities at St Elizabeth Hospice email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/support-us/support-us/volunteer-for-us/.