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Shopping with us or donating items for us to sell helps fund our compassionate care.
Emma Holloway is one of our retail volunteers at the Alfreton shop, we caught up with Emma to find out more about her, and her experience volunteering here at Ashgate Hospice.
Why Emma volunteers
Before volunteering for Ashgate, Emma was the chair of a charity that advocates for disabled people. She decided to volunteer with Ashgate as she was looking for a new volunteering opportunity in her local area (Alfreton) and she saw that Ashgate Hospice was opening a new shop, that was over seven years ago!
It was important to Emma to volunteer locally and on top of this she says that she also knows how important it is that hospices are there for people who need them.
Emma’s volunteering experience
Emma does three shifts a week, plus an additional Saturday shift once a month and is a highly valued member or the Alfreton team. She credits her volunteering to allowing her to meet new people and gain new skills.
She says that, as a wheelchair user, she hasn’t faced any challenges volunteering at Ashgate and that if she does have any concerns then Alfreton’s Shop manager, Tracie Holocuk, is always on hand to help. Unfortunately, the upstairs level of the Alfreton shop is inaccessible by wheelchair so Tracie videoed the upstairs so that Emma could see what it is like and what the rest of the team do. This allowed Emma to feel included in all aspects of work the shop does and feel better connected to the team.
Other ways Tracie has supported Emma is by installing wireless doorbells in three areas of the building so Emma is always able to get hold of other staff members when they are in different areas. The team also ensure a drink is always ready and brought down for her in a flask alongside any cakes and sweets people bring in too.
What she enjoys about volunteering for Ashgate
Emma’s main duties include working on the till and serving customers. This includes talking with customers about their experience of a loved one receiving our care and support, in addition to those dying at the hospice too.
For Emma, one of the great things about volunteering in retail is the connections and relationships you make. This includes your team members and regular customers. Over the years Emma has seen the children of regular customers grow from babies into young adults. She said: “I enjoy the fact that every day is different and it’s never boring, I enjoy meeting lots of new people and getting to know regular customers.”
Emma would tell anyone thinking about volunteering with Ashgate to do it. She said: “There is a wide variety of jobs within the shops and there is always somebody around for support. Every day is different and you learn new skills which could help you in the future.”
Join one of our supportive teams!
We currently have retail volunteer vacancies in our shops and coffee shops across North Derbyshire, for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds and abilities and would love to have you on the team!
You can apply today, or if they would like to speak to someone about any adjustments you may need, you can reach out to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Liz Allam on email@example.com.