Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner has thrown his weight behind a charity’s campaign to recruit extra shop volunteers.
The 65-year-old urged residents to step forward after visiting the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) store in Histon Road, Cambridge.
It came at the end of the charity’s We Need You campaign – a fortnight-long recruitment drive to encourage more volunteers to lend a hand in one of its 44 shops across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.
Mr Zeichner met staff including EACH Area Retail Manager Simon Foster and Shop Manager Sue Botham, during his visit on Friday morning.
He also pitched in by helping sort bags of clothes, picking out saleable stock, tagging items and hanging them on rails.
“EACH carries out vital work, supporting children and young people with life-threatening conditions and their families here in Cambridge and across the length and breadth of the county,” said Mr Zeichner, who has been the city’s MP since 2015.
“However, they need our help and that’s why I was delighted to lend my support to the We Need You campaign.
“I hope it will similarly prompt residents to come forward and help make a difference to their communities.
“I urge residents to step up, get involved and help make a positive change.”
EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions.
It relies on voluntary donations for the majority of its income and needs to raise £5.4 million from its shops during 2022.
There are seven in Cambridgeshire – Histon Road and Cherry Hinton Road, both in Cambridge, Cherry Hinton, Ely, Huntingdon, Soham and Whittlesey.
In terms of volunteer numbers, the charity is down 21% compared to figures pre-COVID. That equates to just short of 200 people.
However, last year’s campaign initially led to 150 new recruits stepping forward and, in time, that figure crept past 200.
Hopes are high this year’s recruitment drive will be just as successful.
Mr Foster said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Zeichner to our Histon Road shop.
“We’re grateful for his time and support and it was an exciting way to end a busy fortnight, during our We Need You campaign.
“Volunteers are an essential part of our retail operation – it wouldn’t be viable without them – and we can never have too many pairs of hands.
“I’d encourage anyone interested in joining us to get in touch.
“There are so many different roles, to suit people’s strengths and interests, and even helping for a couple of hours a week will make a considerable difference.”