Volunteers are the heart of the hospice (2)

It’s Volunteers Week this week (1-7 June) and St. Joseph’s Hospice will be celebrating and championing all the inspiring volunteers who keep the hospice going every single day.

Gill Pooley (53), from Crosby (pictured below), is one of around a hundred volunteers who give up their own time every week to help in one of the hospice’s shops.

Gill started volunteering at the St. Joseph’s Hospice shop, in the Crown Buildings on Liverpool Road in Crosby, just three months ago. She does a Saturday afternoon shift and helps out at other times when needed. She has worked in a charity shop before so had some previous experience but she was really keen to support the hospice after having cared for her mum before she passed away three years ago.

Gill said: “Watching a loved one as they approach the end of their life is very difficult and I really empathise with others going through the same thing. I’m now at the point that I feel I can talk about it but it hasn’t been easy. I also have a friend who works in the Crosby shop so she encouraged me to get involved too.

“Working for St. Josephs Hospice is a pleasant experience where I have met some lovely, friendly people. It gets me out of the house and makes me feel useful to the charity.

“I enjoy all aspects of the work involved in helping to run a busy shop. It has also helped me to gain confidence and is a valuable experience for my CV. As a group of volunteers, we have a good laugh when working to help raise the funds for a very good, worthwhile and compassionate charity; a charity that helps families in times of difficulty when a loved one is nearing the end of their life.”

Shop volunteering is one of the most valuable ways of supporting the hospice as its shops are a crucial source of income, raising over £100k each year. This money goes directly towards caring for patients at the hospice in Thornton.

Tracy Graham, manager at the St. Joseph’s Hospice shop in Crosby, said: “Volunteering is a fantastic way to get out and about and make new friends and Gill, like all our volunteers, is a real inspiration.

“Volunteering is a two way thing because as well as the hospice benefitting hugely from her time; she also gets a lot out of it. Our shops provide a really caring and supportive network and that can be a real lifeline.”

St. Joseph’s Hospice will have a stall at the Sefton CVS Volunteering Fair at Bootle Strand Shopping Centre on Friday 7th June between 10am and 2.30pm. Come along and find out about all the different volunteering roles available at the hospice.

To find out more about volunteering for the hospice, please call 0151 932 6043 or email helen.pattie@jospice.org.uk.

Pictured L-R: Crosby shop manager, Tracy Graham, with shop volunteer, Gill Pooley.