Try something new in 2022

January 2022


If you’re starting the year looking for a rewarding experience, one local charity has a range of opportunities for those looking for something new in 2022.

Prospect Hospice is looking for enthusiastic and friendly people to join their team of volunteers to donate their time to its charity shops in the Swindon, Marlborough and Pewsey areas.

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

Volunteering in the shops also provides an excellent opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills.

Su Starkey, head of volunteering, learning and inclusion at Prospect Hospice, said the charity supports its volunteers with induction, training and regular contact with its volunteering team.

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.

Su 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, Swindon, 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, of Swindon town centre, volunteers in Prospect Hospice’s Regent Street shop.

She 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, Swindon, has volunteered at a variety of Prospect Hospice shop for nine years, including West Swindon.

She said: “I help with a range of activities in the shop 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.”

Volunteers in hospice shops can give as little as a few hours a week and a number of its 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 (parental consent required for under 16s).

If you are looking for something new to do in 2022 then volunteering at a Prospect Hospice shop could be just what you’re looking for. To find out more, enquire in your local shop, email volunteering@prospect-hospice.net or call the voluntary services team on 07884 261259.

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