“One day I found myself sitting at home playing games on my phone and thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I needed to find something positive and constructive to do and that’s why I turned to volunteering” – Nicola has received a friendly welcome at Royston

A new charity shop volunteer says helping out is a perfect way to conquer boredom and give her a sense of purpose again. Nicola Bonnet is a recent recruit at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) store in High Street, Royston.

She joined during the charity’s ‘Be the difference’ campaign – an initiative to encourage more people to support EACH’s fast-growing retail operation and lend a hand in one of its 47 shops.

Nicola stepped forward after spotting an advert in the shop window and has no regrets so far.

“It’s been fantastic and everyone has been incredibly friendly and welcoming,” said the 54-year-old.

“It’s still early days but I know I’ve made a great decision and that I’m going to love my time here. I’m definitely going to enjoy it. To be completely honest, I had too much spare time on my hands and there was an element of boredom kicking in.

“That’s just not me – I’m the kind of person who loves being busy and having a purpose.

“One day I found myself sitting at home playing games on my phone and thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I needed to find something positive and constructive to do and that’s why I turned to volunteering.”

Nicola, a stay-at-home mum when her three children were younger, is no stranger to volunteering, having spent time in Turkey, helping Syrian refugees. She also helped run her local Cub-Scout group.

“I’ve been into the shop before, to deliver donations, and always found it a very positive and friendly environment,” she said.

“It’s also very local, right on my doorstep, and I like the feeling of being part of our community. It’s a great way of meeting new, local people and an opportunity to help them, which I love.

“Being here has definitely given me a sense of purpose already. Aside from the feeling of helping people, there’s also a lovely social side and I feel that’s given me extra confidence – something I was beginning to lack.”

For more information about volunteering, speak to a member of staff in-store or contact volunteer services on 01223 205183. Alternatively, email volunteerservices@each.org.uk

To find your nearest EACH shop, head here.

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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