“In the past, I’ve always been told I’m too young to help so it feels good to be old enough now” – student Una is enjoying learning new skills in her role as an EACH volunteer

A student with a desire to help others is excited to start volunteering after years of being told she is too young. Una Upeniece has begun helping at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) shop in St Johns Street, Bury St Edmunds.

The 17-year-old has been itching to begin her volunteering journey for five years but had previously been told she was too young.

Now she is finally underway and happy to be supporting EACH.

“I’m really enjoying it so far,” said Una, who was born in Latvia.

“I love charity shops and have been a customer here many times. I was walking past and saw a sign in the window appealing for more volunteers, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 13.

“In the past, I’ve always been told I’m too young to help so it feels good to be old enough now.”

Una, who hopes to go to university, is in the second and final year of her journalism course at Suffolk College. She is there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so volunteers on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“It’s such a great place and I love being around so many people, in a completely different environment to what I’m used to,” she said.

“Everyone’s been very friendly and it’s a real community. I enjoy chatting to the staff, my fellow volunteers and customers and I’m learning lots of new skills.

“I enjoy using the till and I’ve been taught how to list items on eBay. It’s been a great learning curve and very different to my studies and what I do in my weekend job as a waitress.”

To find out more about volunteering in Bury St Edmunds, pop into the shop, email manager Stephen Hughes via stephen.hughes@each.org.uk or call 01284 706631.

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