“I love volunteering because it keeps me active – physically but also in terms of keeping my brain ticking over” – Ann enjoys giving something back to her community by supporting EACH

A volunteer with a passion for people says helping out in a charity shop gives her the perfect opportunity to make friends and stay physically and mentally active.

Ann Seaman gives up Thursday afternoons and every Sunday to support East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). She volunteers in Norwich’s Bowthorpe Road shop and has been part of the fabric there since December 2019.

Ann would recommend it to anyone and assures new recruits they will be given a warm welcome at any EACH store in the city – Bowthorpe Road, Aylsham Road, Plumstead Road and Unthank Road.

“I love it because it keeps me active – physically but also in terms of keeping my brain ticking over,” said the 74-year-old.

“I enjoy the mental stimulation and having to think about things. I always find it satisfying seeing how many steps I’ve done at the end of my day. If I was at home, I’d sit around more but here there isn’t the opportunity and I enjoy that. It’s good for me and I feel it keeps me young.

“I do a bit of everything but particularly love tagging and sorting donations. I’ll also go on the till. It makes me feel brighter and happier and I find it rewarding, giving something back to the community.”

Ann, who lives with husband Geoffrey in Costessey, loves the social aspect of volunteering and is a self-confessed “people person”. During her working life she took visitors around the former Rowntree Mackintosh chocolate factory in Norwich, which closed in 1994.

She also worked in the shop there, in addition to spending many years working for Norwich Union.

“My husband often jokes that if something moves, I’ll talk to it,” said Ann.

“I’m a real people person and it was something I enjoyed during my working life. I love chatting and meeting new people and always think that if you can’t be pleasant, why bother?”

Ann, who has a daughter and a granddaughter, volunteered in the Bowthorpe Road Arthritis UK shop before EACH moved into the premises in February 2018.

She took a well-earned breather before coming back and helping out just before Christmas 2019.

“I missed it and would definitely recommend it to others,” she said.

“It gets you out and about, around others, and I’d definitely advise anyone to give it a try. People think it has to be a huge commitment but that isn’t the case and just a morning or afternoon a week can make such a difference.

“There are a range of roles and all help is gratefully received. We’re pleased to hear from people and can fit in around their busy lives.”

EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions. It has three hospices, including The Nook, in Framingham Earl.

The charity relies on voluntary donations for the majority of its income and this year alone needs to raise £6.5 million from its Retail operation, which includes stores across the region in addition to a busy Retail Distribution Centre, in Thetford.

To find out more about volunteering in Norwich, speak to a member of staff in-store or call 01603 301475 (Aylsham Road), 01603 732874 (Bowthorpe Road), 01603 438105 (Plumstead Road) or 01603 613058 (Unthank Road).

You can also contact volunteer services on 01223 205183. Alternatively, email volunteerservices@each.org.uk There are other ways to support EACH, including helping its facilities, events, fundraising and administration teams, or being part of the charity’s Help at Home service.

Notes to Editors

“EACH has made us all feel part of an extended family and, thanks to staff and fellow families, we’re not alone with problems. We always leave The Treehouse feeling positive, stronger and thankful.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.8 million from fundraising and £6.5 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron –Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds,visit each.org.uk or call our Suffolk fundraisers on 01473 917965.

Keep in touch:


For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk


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