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

Related news and stories

News Stories

Gary’s Story

When Gary was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, he said the news hit him and his wife “like a ton of bricks”. While talking to his GP about how he felt, it was suggested that he contact Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. He’d heard of Helen Rollason but knew nothing of the charity. That was five years ago and, after an initial conversation with the Support Services Team, he has been a client ever since.

View More »
News Stories

Carol’s Story

While undergoing cancer treatment in 2020, Carol drove past Helen Rollason’s centre in Hatfield Peverel and decided to call in and speak to someone.  She is so glad she did.  The staff she spoke to were so welcoming and helpful, and she has not looked back.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery then started radiotherapy treatment in 2020. Luckily, she was able to have several treatments at the Helen Rollason centre before the

View More »
News Stories

Jenny’s Story

Jenny has been one of our clients for almost two years; she has asked us to share her story and the difference our support makes for her with the people who have made it possible: people like you. “The discovery of my cancer is unusual to say the least, my cat decided she would like a cuddle and accidently knocked my chest causing discomfort and pain.  Then I found the lump in my breast. My

View More »

Make a difference

We are calling on everyone in our community to play a vital role in helping us to fundraise which will allow us to continue enabling quality of life while living with cancer.