Meet Anna

“I remember supporting the Hospice when it opened all those years ago whilst at Primary school, when I got a chance to work for the charity, it felt like my vocation.”

Meet Anna Ross, Shop Manager in our Gateshead store on Jackson Street.

How did you come to work for St Oswald’s Hospice?

Having become very disillusioned with fast fashion and working for large retailers, I became very interested in working within the not for profit sector. After a chance conversation with a friend who already worked for St Oswald’s Hospice, I started looking out for vacancies and was successful at the interview for an Assistant Manager’s position in the Gateshead store.

Where were you working before St Oswald’s Hospice?

I had previously been a manager in mainstream retail for over 20 years but more recently had worked part time as a Personal Shopping Assistant.

What does your role involve in the day to day?

Setting up the day/week ahead through analysis of sales, setting goals, allocating and prioritising tasks. Managing, developing and supporting my team of assistants and volunteers.

How do you find it delegating tasks among volunteers day to day?

It can be difficult some days matching tasks to volunteers with their ability and suitability, as well as keeping what they do interesting, whilst completing everything that needs to be done. However with such a lovely bunch of volunteers we always get there.

Has anything changed since you transitioned from an Assistant Manager to a General Manager?

We always worked as a team so the transition was very easy for me. The only difference now is that I line manage the team.

What is the most enjoyable thing about your job?

That every day is different. You never know what product you’re going to receive and sell. It is also good for your soul working for such a respected charity. I’m always in awe of our volunteers who give up their time to work for free.

What led you to work in charity retail?

From a young age, I was interested in fashion and loved helping my friends to choose outfits. At college, I had part-time job in ladies clothing and I loved it. I quickly realised I had a talent for managing and developing people as well the products we sold. At 21, I took my first manager’s job and the rest is history. I remember supporting the Hospice when I was in Primary school. When I got a chance to work for the charity, it felt like my vocation.

How would you describe the culture at St Oswald’s Hospice?

Having recently been through a huge health problem I am so thankful that I work for an organisation that is focused on supporting its people as well as its patients. I felt part of the whole retail team even when I wasn’t able to come to work.

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