Volunteering quartet are invaluable and “never allowed to leave” EACH’s shop in Aylsham Road

Four hard-working volunteers have jokingly been told “they are never allowed to leave” after becoming part of the furniture at a charity shop in Norwich.

Ros Chambers, Val Brown, Caroline Church and Margaret Baynton give up their time to help at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) store in Aylsham Road.

Ros and Val pitch in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Caroline on Thursday afternoons and Margaret on Friday afternoons.

Such is their huge and tireless contribution, shop manager Paul Shorten says they are invaluable and “worth their weight in gold”.

All four ladies previously volunteered for EACH but started helping in the shop when fundraising activity was curtailed by COVID.

The pandemic then forced the charity’s stores to close but the quartet had had a taster by then – and were eager to return when doors reopened.

Paul, 48, said: “I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about Ros, Val, Caroline and Margaret.

“They offered their services at a time when I was desperate for volunteers, back in Spring 2020.

“Now, two years and one pandemic later, they’re absolutely invaluable.

“They’ve been such a great addition, their enthusiasm is infectious and I’ve jokingly told them they’re never allowed to leave. I won’t allow it.

“They’re absolutely brilliant, work so hard and are popular with customers.

“They’re worth their weight in gold and I know that whenever they’re working, I won’t have any problems.

“They never stop and are always on the go. I know the till’s always covered, the shelves and rails are stocked and the shop is looking fantastic.

“For me, as manager, that’s such a blessing and it takes a lot of weight off my shoulders.

“Rather than being pulled in different directions, I can get my head down, plan my day and do the things I’m supposed to be doing.”

Paul has been shop manager for nearly three years and says that while he is lucky to have a “family” of staff and volunteers, he can always do with extra help.

“It’s such a happy, welcoming environment and we’re always pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining us,” he said.

“Just pop into the shop, email me via paul.shorten@each.org.uk or call 01603 301475.

“On a personal note, I love it here and am passionate about my job.

“As a shop, we’re riding high and hitting targets – and much of the credit has to go to our team of volunteers.

“They make everything possible and long may that continue.”

Meanwhile, Paul also had words of praise for another of his volunteers, Elizabeth Halford, who helps in the shop on Wednesday mornings.

Elizabeth recently received an award in recognition of her charity work from GoodGym Norwich.

The group is made up of residents who run, walk, or cycle to help out community projects and older people in Norwich.

Elizabeth recently won an ‘inspiring individual award’ for her tireless efforts helping others.

“We’re so pleased for her,” said Paul.

“Elizabeth is another fantastic, dedicated person who gives up so much of her time to help others, including working in our shop. We’re lucky to have her.”


Notes to Editors

“We’d heard about EACH and knew they were a fantastic cause that had supported families we knew, but we never thought we’d be the ones that needed them! Sadly, as fantastic as it is, their service will always be required, and every child who needs their help deserves to have it.”

  • 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 £5.5 million from fundraising and £5.4 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 Duchess of Cambridge.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds, visit www.each.org.uk or call the Norfolk fundraising office on 01508 500894.

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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