EACH shops in urgent need of volunteers as hours’ support normally received down over 50%

Following a positive level of footfall and donations, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is now launching a campaign to address the biggest challenge faced by its shops in their first month back trading.

We need YOU has been set up to help EACH keep its 43 outlets across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Herts, Norfolk and Suffolk open and raising vital funds, after a year in which disruption caused by the pandemic has left the charity forecasting a deficit.

Sarah Throssell, EACH Acting Head of Retail, said: “With many of our shop volunteers currently unable to lend a hand owing to the effects of the pandemic, the number of hours’ support we ordinarily receive is down more than 50%. Our shops simply cannot run and raise the millions of pounds they normally do without the generosity of volunteers, and as more and more families exhausted from shielding reach out for support it’s never been so important.”

Some of EACH’s existing volunteers have been sharing what they do and why they love supporting the good cause.

Trevor Gooding, 73, who worked in retail before retiring, so much enjoys volunteering at EACH’s shop in Histon Road, Cambridge, that he has been doing it four days a week for the last 10 years.

“I retired and I was looking for something to do. I’d always gone into charity shops and thought they looked interesting to work in. I tend to do most things, including a lot of time on the till. We all muck in together and I really enjoy it, having people to talk to and helping a local charity.”

EACH is not only calling on individuals to lend a hand, but also businesses looking to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility.

Steph Dove, project manager at Cambridge tech company Arm, was part of a team of three employees who spent a day volunteering at EACH’s Cherry Hinton shop shortly before the pandemic.

“I can’t recommend volunteering for EACH highly enough. It was a fantastic experience. The guys in the shop were really positive and super supportive, allowing us to just get stuck in and make a difference. They’re so well organised behind-the-scenes and it’s a phenomenal cause.”

Hannah Milbourne, EACH Volunteer Services and Development Manager, said: “There are so many tasks to do in our shops, from sorting donations and running the till to testing electrical goods and listing items on our eBay shop. We also need helpers at our retail distribution centre and main eBay base, both in Thetford. No previous experience is required and even just a couple of hours a week makes a big difference. Volunteers are at the heart of what we do at EACH, so a friendly welcome is guaranteed!”

EACH is offering taster shifts for anyone interested in lending a hand. These can be arranged by speaking to the manager of your nearest EACH shop or by contacting EACH Volunteer Services on 01223 205183 or volunteerservices@each.org.uk.

 

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