A smile goes a long way when you work in a charity shop.
That’s the view of sales assistant Karen Moss, who started as a volunteer but is now embracing her new role at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) shop in Leiston.
Karen, 51, loves the social aspect of working with and around people and says she would recommend it to anyone.
“It’s wonderful being part of such an incredibly worthwhile charity like EACH,” said the mum-of-two, who lives in nearby Aldringham.
“That’s the bottom line but, on a personal note, I also get so much from being in our shop.
“I love being around people and it’s such a friendly environment. It’s a place where a smile and a thank you goes a long way.
“People come in for a chat and while you get to meet lots of new customers, you also strike such a rapport with regulars.
“The shop is part of our community and I love that social aspect. I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Karen, who hails from Northern Ireland and moved to Suffolk in 1998, started her volunteering journey with EACH in October 2019.
She describes it as a brilliant experience and one she’s never regretted.
“I’m a real people person and enjoy working alongside, and serving, people from all walks of life,” said the mum of two grown-up daughters, who only started in her new sales assistant role this month.
“Everyone is treated the same, though, and always with respect.
“I love being around our volunteers, too. Each has their own reason for doing it and I’m confident that anyone who gives it a go will love it.
“It’s never a chore and always great company.
“Whether you can offer a couple of hours a week or a couple of mornings or afternoons, my advice would be go for it.”
EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.
It has three hospices, including one at The Nook, in Framingham Earl, just outside Norwich, and The Treehouse, in Ipswich.
The charity is on the lookout for volunteers to lend a hand at its store in Leiston, which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.
To find out more about volunteer opportunities, pop into the shop at 6/7 Sizewell Road, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4AB, call Shop Manager Tom Herbert on 01728 830412 or email email@example.com
For more information about volunteering for EACH, head here.