Volunteers in the spotlight

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity have 183 caring charity shop volunteers who help keep our shop tills ringing each week. HRCC receives no Government or NHS funding, and so rely on the charity shops to bring in a vital source of income for HRCC day in, day out. Here we talk to three volunteers about their experiences and why they get involved…


Terri Peake has been volunteering in the Witham shop since it opened more than seven years ago. She works several mornings a week, and is always on hand if the shop is short of volunteers at other times.

“I didn’t know about the Charity, but did know of Helen Rollason. I was lucky enough not to have to work, but after being at home for a year I fancied something to do and seeing the advert in the shop window, thought it would be nice to give something back to the community.”

Terri gets a great sense of achievement working for the Charity: “I think it’s a great idea for people to help out local charities as one day you might need their help, also it gives you a sense of purpose, confidence and makes lots of friends.”

Colleague Pat Langstaff, has worked alongside Terri, also since the shop opened, and together they help with the day-to-day running. This involves ensuring there are enough volunteers to cover the weekly rota, interviewing potential new volunteers, sorting and pricing donations, dressing the window, and lots more besides.

“I had been made redundant from my job, and saw that a new charity shop was opening up in Witham and needed volunteers. I thought it was something worthwhile to do whilst looking for another job. However, I loved it so much and found it so inspiring that I never left! Fortunately, I was in a position to do that,” commented Pat.

Pat added: “My life has totally changed through volunteering at the shop. I have made some great friends who work alongside me, but additional opportunities have arisen through me meeting people that have enabled me to broaden my horizons in lots of different ways.”

Audrey Higgs began volunteering in the Sawbridgeworth shop over eleven years ago.

“I work one morning a week, and fill in other times if extra help is required. I mostly work on the till and enjoy being face-to-face with the customers. I enjoy working as a volunteer. I have made some very good friends, I would encourage anyone to volunteer for the joy of keeping busy, talking to people and keeping your mind active.”

HRCC Head of Retail, Alison Matthews is delighted to be working alongside such a devoted team: “I would love to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers past and present for their loyalty, dedication and flexibility!”

If you would like to know more about the volunteering opportunities at HRCC contact the Fundraising Team on 01245 380719, email fundraising@helenrollason.org.uk, or click here

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