Helen Rollason Cancer Charity plan to reopen Witham Charity Shop and appeal for volunteers

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is looking to reopen their established Witham Charity Shop on Newland Street after closing in line with Government guidelines on the 23rd March.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a number of their regular volunteers have been forced to retire, leaving the charity with a shortfall of help. Now the charity is appealing for people to give up their time and volunteer at the shop otherwise it will be unable to reopen as planned.  

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity CEO Kate Alden said; “We are looking forward to being able to reopen our Witham Charity Shop as our shops are the absolute lifeblood of the charity. However we have sadly said goodbye to some of our regular volunteers and are therefore calling on the local community to help us.

If you can spare a few hours, have a good sense of humour and enjoy meeting new people, we would love to have your help with volunteering in our Witham charity shop. Our shops are a hive of activity, with donations to sort, and our excellent regular customers to serve. We are always receiving new donations so our shelves are regularly filled with fresh stock and different items.

I know that our regular customers in Witham have really missed popping into our shop for a browse and a chat; there is always a warm welcome waiting. However we can only reopen if we have enough volunteers to man the shop.”

For more information on volunteering please call Kate Alden on 07730 209442 or you can email her on kate.alden@helenrollason.org.uk

Volunteer profile

Anne Wilkes and Beth Carder both already volunteer at the Witham Charity Shop so we caught up with them to see what being a retail volunteer entails…

What is your age and where do you live?
Anne: I’m 54 and live in Witham.
Beth: I’m 66 and also live in Witham.

How long have you been volunteering in the HRCC Witham shop?
Anne: Nearly a year.
Beth: Over eight years.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you became a retail volunteer.
Anne: After being made redundant in 2017 I decided to find some voluntary work. HRCC appealed to me because I remember Helen Rollason when she was on television, it’s a local Essex charity and like most people, I have lost loved ones to cancer.
Beth: Once l retired l had a few hours to spare each week so decided to get involved in a local charity, one that was cancer related as both friends and family have been affected by this disease.

Describe your average day in the shop.
Anne: The work can be varied; from serving customers to sorting donations, arranging displays, pricing goods and steaming clothes.
Beth: Donation pricing and sorting, arranging items on the shelves and keeping the shop neat and tidy.

What have you gained from working in the shop?
Anne: Retail experience and new friends.
Beth: It is very satisfying and gives me a purpose.

What skills do you think potential new retail volunteers need?
Anne: Common sense, a friendly approach and a good sense of humour.
Beth: Good with people, versatile and flexible with your time.

Any hobbies?
Anne: Walking, seeing friends and swimming.
Beth: Walking my Jack Russell and spending time in the summer months at my caravan.