A day in the life of a shop volunteer


Our shops provide a crucial source of income for us, which is why we’re so grateful for our lovely shop volunteers who help us keep them up and running!

This day in the life diary has been written by one of our Witney volunteers, AnnMarie, who tells us all about her busy yet fulfilling day.

09:45 After a full week of getting up at 3:30am for my job, leaving home at this time for my voluntary shift at the Sobell House Witney Warehouse feels like a bit of a treat!

10:30 Arrive at the Warehouse and receive a warm welcome from the team. Today I’m working with Don, Karina and Will. I have volunteered at the Witney Warehouse for nearly two years now. Volunteering for a charity was something I had never thought of doing, but when my sister Karina became the Shop Manager she persuaded me to sign up! Volunteering has been a brilliant experience and I look forward to it every week, so I’m thankful that she did.

The first task of the day is to make myself a coffee and I make one for Don too. I then head off on a quick walk around the Warehouse to see what’s new in stock and if any exciting bargains have come in during the week. I love the diversity of donations that come in – the quality of items always amazes me. This week a lot of summer clothes have been donated, which is perfect with the warm weather on its way; they should sell really quickly.

11:00 I get to work steaming clothes and putting them out on the rails. I always try to get as much done as I can, but whatever I manage Don and Karina are always very grateful for my help.

11:45 Have a quick sort out to make sure all of the stock on the shelves is looking tidy and well-presented.

12:00 Steaming the clothes has worked up an appetite, so we all pause for a lunch break. Every Saturday we take it in turns to bring in lunch and it’s always something yummy! There’s such a family atmosphere here and I love being a part of the team.

12:30 I get back to steaming clothes and I’ve managed to work my way through at least two rails worth.

13:30 I have a tidy up of the shop floor after a busy morning. I also get the chance to speak to some of our lovely customers. Today, I enjoy catching up with Beverley, one of our regular customers. Beverley has come in to buy some CDs – she loves all kinds of music!

14:30 Just before I leave for the day, I always make sure that there are spare hangers available and that everything is tidy ready for the staff and volunteers on Monday morning.

15:00 I start packing up so I can run some errands before heading home. That’s my shift done! The time always flies by and I feel good for having done something productive and worthwhile on my day off.

If anyone were to ask me if they should volunteer in a Sobell House shop I would say: absolutely! The people are friendly, it’s for a great cause, and I enjoy the interaction I have with our customers and helping them as best as I can. Even if you can only spare an hour or two every week, it still helps the staff a great deal.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a shop volunteer, please get in touch with your local shop or email shops@sobellhospice.org.