“They know how desperate I am for help and have answered my SOS call” – Sabrina’s husband and children are rolling up their sleeves to plug a volunteering shortfall

Kind-hearted family members have stepped up to the plate and answered an urgent ‘SOS’ call by offering to volunteer at a popular charity shop.

Sabrina Fenn manages Fakenham’s East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) store and is so desperate for help that she has called on support from husband David, 56, daughters Yolanda and Betty, 17 and 16 respectively, and son Joseph, 14.

All four have duly rolled up their sleeves, using their respective skills to make it a genuine family affair.

“It’s so lovely and I’m very proud of them,” said Sabrina, who urgently needs help from more volunteers keen to join her team.

“They’ve answered my SOS call! They know how desperate I am for extra help and have kindly offered to give their time. It’s much-appreciated and lovely for us to be together as a family.

“It’s precious, quality time and I know they find it rewarding, doing something to help such a worthwhile cause. It’s also a very positive, productive thing for my children to do in their spare time, rather than sitting at home.”

Yolanda, who is at college, comes in every couple of weeks and helps dress the shop window.

“She’s got a real talent when it comes to visual merchandising and we’ve had the most outstanding feedback from customers,” said Sabrina, who became manager last December after previously working for The National Trust.

“They’ve been so impressed and say she should be doing it for a living. Betty, who has just started at sixth form, comes in because she’s keen to get some retail experience and build her self-confidence.

“She’s had some lovely comments from customers and also does the artwork for our chalkboards, making them look fabulous. Joseph comes in every weekend to get some work experience.

“It’s great for him to be able to say he’s had some till training and he spends time listing books for us to sell on Amazon. All of them are building their skill sets, while at the same time supporting an amazing cause and helping their mum into the bargain!

“It works on so many levels and they’re genuinely making a difference, helping everything run smoothly.”

To complete the family circle, Sabrina, 46, also receives help from husband David, who works at Gresham’s School, in Holt.

“After finishing work, he’ll often come in for a couple of hours and do whatever’s needed, including steaming donations and carrying boxes up and down the stairs,” she said.

“He’s brilliant, as they all are, and I’m very grateful for their support, along with the whole volunteer team. Our shop is flying and it feels like we’re ahead of schedule, rather than chasing our tails.

“We have systems in place and our volunteers have been a major part of that, giving us their ideas and feedback. We’ve made massive progress together and the figures testify that.”

While grateful to her existing volunteers, Sabrina is desperate to hear from anyone else interested in lending a hand. She was speaking during EACH’s ‘Be the difference‘ campaign – a recruitment drive running until the end of October.

“There are days when I’m flying solo and it’s a real struggle,” said Sabrina.

“It can be a strain and it would be great to have another two or three regular volunteers on board. It doesn’t have to involve the till, which I know puts some people off.

“Not everyone wants to be customer-facing and I appreciate that. There are so many other jobs they can do, either on the shop floor or upstairs behind the scenes, and we’re so appreciative of any help we get.

“We’re flexible and can fit in with people’s busy lives. There’s no heavy lifting involved and this is an opportunity to do something very enjoyable and rewarding to make a genuine difference.”

To find out more, pop into the shop on Upper Market, email Sabrina via sabrina.fenn@each.org.uk or phone 01328 863297.

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

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top