June Igo has given her valued time to volunteer for Blythe House since 2008, after retiring from her career in teaching.

The New Mills resident explains: ‘When I retired some time ago, I knew I wanted to do something purposeful and meaningful. I didn’t want to do something that would “pass the time”, but something worthwhile. I wanted to support a local charity, so I walked into the Blythe House charity shop in New Mills and offered my services! I had only been there for about two months when the shop in Whaley Bridge opened- so I worked there too. This was different to the New Mills shop as they sell furniture too.

‘I think what is so special about volunteering during your retirement is that you get to try new skills and dabble in different job roles without the pressure you have in a paid job. I’ve always fancied working in a shop. I remember as a child playing shops and I have always loved to browse around charity shops, but now I get to see the whole picture. I get to see the items donated to the shop, who brought those treasured items in and why they want to support this local charity. Like a child wanting to hear new stories – many of our customers and donors like to share their stories and it can be both emotional and amusing to listen to their stories. It is a privilege to hear how the local charity I am volunteering for has supported so many families in the community.

‘This experience has been so rewarding for me. I now divide my time between volunteering at the charity shops and volunteering on the reception desk at the Community Hub. I enjoy being a small part of such a big cause. I feel very passionate about helping the dedicated staff at Blythe House. The staff at the hospice do an amazing job, helping people through some of the most difficult times of their lives with compassion and care.

‘I also work closely with Katie Holt, supporter engagement officer, who processes donations to the hospice. I have learnt so much about the impact donations have on this charity. I can see how valuable donating to Blythe House, whether that is clothing or money, is directly supporting the free local care they provide. I feel very fortunate that I can be a part of this charity and support them during my retirement.’

Find out more about volunteering with Blythe House and Helen’s Trust.