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Adelaide is a retail volunteer from our Byker Kids Shop, who moved from Hong Kong to Newcastle in February with her husband and two children. She has been volunteering with us since August.

“We decided to move to Newcastle and raise the kids here because we love the fact it is on the coast and has a vibrant vibe to it –we really want our children to be educated here,” said Adelaide.

We first met Adelaide at the Conversation Group, a very special group of international people who gather in town weekly to practice their English and make friends in the local area. St Oswald’s Hospice had been invited to make a presentation about retail volunteering and its benefits to the group.

When we mentioned volunteering could be used as a way to improve oral English skills and make new connections in the area, Adelaide immediately approached us and told us about her experience in Hong Kong.

Adelaide said: 

“When I was in Hong Kong, I used to be very involved in charity work. I studied counselling and volunteered as a telephone befriender to people who struggled with their mental health. I am currently not able to do this here as I am still working on my English skills.”

Adelaide signed up to volunteer that day, and when we caught up she told us about her experience so far, Adelaide said:    

 “I love feeling like I am helping people with what I do. I come to the Byker Kids Shop once a week for two hours to tag, steam, and hang the donated clothes, and also have a nice chat with the staff and other volunteers while I’m at it!

“Volunteering will help me to gain work experience in the UK as my goal is to get into paid employment. I would definitely recommend volunteering at St Oswald’s Hospice shop to other people - and if you have young children, you can also take the opportunity to look at all the wonderful kids’ clothes and toys before they are moved out onto the shop floor!”

If you’ve been inspired by Adelaide’s story and would like to try your hand at volunteering with our wonderful retail team, please visit our volunteering opportunities for more information and how to apply.