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Introducing Jackie Bland, Retail Volunteer

Jackie joined us as a volunteer receptionist earlier this year, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, she has temporarily changed her role and joined our Jesmond charity shop as one of their volunteers to help our shops get back on their feet.

We recently caught up with Jackie Bland who began volunteering with us earlier this year

Jackie has since signed up to volunteer with our Jesmond shop to help St Oswald’s out during these challenging times. Jackie spoke about her experiences over recent months:

“I’ve only been actively volunteering since lockdown started in March. I originally signed up in January to join the bank of receptionists but with lockdown happening I didn’t receive my training and was not able to undertake the receptionist role. When I saw that check in and chat volunteers were required I volunteered to undertake that service so I had something meaningful to do during lockdown and support the hospice too.

I planned to continue the Check in and Chat service until I was able to go into the hospice for my receptionist training. However, the interesting thing is that the volunteers I was asked to contact were volunteers in the Jesmond shop and they are all so lovely and friendly I thought it would be great to volunteer in the shop as it would allow me to get involved with something outside of my home and mix with other people at a safe distance.

I really enjoy volunteering in the shop, there are so many varied tasks to do and serving the customers is always a pleasure, especially when you see that they know they have just bought something amazing at a great price. There are similarities in the roles in that I’m dealing with people but volunteering in the shop is an opportunity to get out and meet people face to face and have some sort of social interaction.

Jackie Bland, Retail Volunteer

I would recommend others give it a go, I’ve never worked in a shop before so I find it great fun. Social distancing measures, PPE and hand sanitiser are in place so it’s a safe environment. It’s also a perfect way to contribute to the hospice whilst having a social outlet at the same time.”

Thank you to Jackie for sharing her story.

Could you help our Retail team?

Our retail team urgently needs support within our off-site region-wide charity shops to ensure we continue to raise money to support the Hospice during these unprecedented times. If you could spare a few hours a week to support one of our charity shops, we’d be hugely grateful.

To express an interest, get in touch with us below.

retailhelpdesk@stoswaldsuk.org