Jayne's Volunteering Story

My name is Jayne and I have volunteered at the Market Weighton Dove House charity shop since September 2019. I retired in July and wanted to do something to make me still feel useful after 40 years of working full time.
My typical day would be: arriving at the shop between 5 and 10 minutes before the start of my shift, saying “hello” to everyone and asking how they are and ask if we have been busy then I pick up my volunteer badge and ask what they need me to do that day.  It can be ‘front of house’ working the till and receiving donations, restocking rails and shelves, or in the back sorting donated goods and preparing them for sale.  Sometimes I do ’take off’ which involves removing unsold items that have been on the shop floor for a while and packing them up to be sent to a new sale opportunity.  Being on the shop floor involves a lot of contact with the public, most of whom are really nice.  We have some lovely customers - buyers who compliment us on the shop and quality of goods for sale, and donors who’ve already separated the rags, have made sure their donations are clean, and have already checked what we can and can’t accept. Sorting goods in the back involves little contact with customers but is a vital part of maintaining the ethos of the shop. There’s a really happy atmosphere in the sorting room with a chat about the various donations and just about every other subject under the sun while we work. Each donation is processed in the same way; saleable items are prepped and priced, non-saleable are sent for rags (which we get paid for), recycling where appropriate, or, as a final resort, binned.  It is really satisfying to know that we’re doing our bit for the environment as well as for the hospice.  
Some shops have specialist areas and goods are sent there.  We have The Wedding Loft and receive bridal wear from other shops.  Vintage and craft items go to their specialist outlets. All gift aid items are identified as such on the price tags which enables Dove House to collect the appropriate gift aid.  Sometimes, if there’s more than one volunteer, we split the shift front and back of house.  I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical shift really, they’re all different.
For me, the best bit about volunteering is feeling useful in a supportive and friendly team. If I had to describe my volunteering journey at Dove House in three words they would be satisfying, interesting, and enjoyable. I love it when we have a day with better than normal takings. The buzz in the team with such a visible reward for hard work is brilliant. Some of the rewards of volunteering are it gives me purpose, working with and meeting a variety of people, learning new things, giving back to society, and having some structure to a week.
My mother spent her last days in St Leonard’s Hospice in York 30 years ago now, and the care she, and we, received there made such a difference. So, volunteering with a hospice is a way of giving back.
I love being part of Dove House and am proud of our shop.  The hospice charity shops are a brilliant place to volunteer.

If you're inspired by Jayne's volunteering story and are interested in volunteering for Dove House then please visit:

Dove House Volunteering