“I’d never spent any time in a warehouse, so thought it would be good to step out of my comfort zone and do something completely different” – volunteer Jane enjoys helping at EACH’s Retail Distribution Centre

A hard-working charity volunteer says she has no regrets about stepping out of her comfort zone to help in a busy warehouse.

Jane Hawker spares a morning a week to support the team at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) Retail Distribution Centre, in Thetford.

The charity’s retail base is where donations are sorted and processed before being sent to the EACH shops.

Jane, who worked in the volunteering sector, retired 18 months ago and started helping at the RDC last March.

The mum of two, who also has four grandchildren, says she enjoys being in such a different environment.

“I knew all about EACH because I used to drop donations at RDC,” said Jane, who is married to Dave and lives in Mundford.

“One day, I asked if they needed any more volunteers and was told they could never have enough extra help.

“I agreed to join the team, filled in the paperwork and haven’t looked back since.

“It’s been a brilliant first year and I absolutely love it.

“I genuinely look forward to coming in. We have fun and it’s such a valuable thing to do.

“I thought long and hard about how I could help and the more straightforward option would have been to take on an admin role.

“I’ve spent my whole working life in an office so that’s the kind of environment I’m used to.

“In contrast, I’d never spent any time in a warehouse – apart from when dropping my donations – so thought it would be good to step out of my comfort zone and do something completely different.

“I wanted to give it a go and don’t have any regrets at all.

“I’d recommend it to anyone. There’s no heavy lifting, which might put some people off, and I consider it a really great use of my time.”

After first retiring, Jane enjoyed having extra time to tend to her garden.

However, she soon realised she needed a new challenge, to avoid running the risk of “stagnating” at home.

“When the winter set in, I realised I wanted to do something a bit different, to get the grey matter working again,” said the 67-year-old.

“I’m the kind of person who likes being busy and having something to focus on. I like being on my feet.

“I also decided I wanted to do something worthwhile to help others, rather than stagnating at home watching daytime television.

“Because of my background, I know the value of volunteers and felt it was my turn to give something back.

“The RDC is such a fascinating place. There’s so much going on and it’s a real hive of activity.

“To me, it’s been a real eye-opener and it’s fascinating to see the way everything’s checked and sorted, before being distributed to the shops.

“Hardly anything goes to waste and it’s great being part of the operation – doing my bit to help generate funds for EACH.

“It’s such a nice bunch and I feel part of a team, as well as being valued. It’s a great charity to volunteer for.”

More volunteers are always needed to help out at RDC.

One of the roles includes being a ‘driver’s mate’, with duties including loading and unloading vans.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at RDC, email Warehouse Operations and Supply Chain Manager Stephen Ball via Stephen.Ball@each.org.uk or call 01842 770524.

Find our notes to editors here.

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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