After the announcement about a second national lockdown on 31.10.2020, some quotes or sentences in Pauline’s story below may seem incorrect/ unsuitable, however please note that Pauline’s story was written in September 2020, after she had returned to her volunteering role at our Buxton shop following the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Pauline O’Brien has volunteered her time at Blythe House’s Buxton shop for around seven years, after finding out about opportunities from her friend and fellow volunteer, Brenda Edge.
Pauline said: ‘I was out one Friday night with Brenda and some of our other friends, and Brenda said that the shop was in need of an extra pair of hands. I had just retired and I thought, “I could do that!” I signed up as a volunteer and have been here ever since.
‘I am a bit of a busy bee, and help out during my shifts with whatever wants doing. I will sort donations, hang and display items on the shop floor, serve customers at the till, or do any other odd jobs that want doing. Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, I also supported the hospice’s monthly coffee mornings and would serve refreshments and generally meet and mingle with visitors.
‘Post-COVID, coming back to volunteering at the shop, I feel safe and comfortable. A woman actually said to me earlier today that she was impressed with how well organised and set out the shop is, to help our customers feel safe whilst shopping here.
‘To prospective volunteers, I would say, come and have a go! Blythe House, and the hospice shop specifically, is such a friendly place to work and everyone is so kind. I love the women that I work with and I feel like I’m doing my bit to support a local charity.
‘We of course follow all the latest government guidelines including wearing PPE and washing or sanitising our hands at regular intervals, so you can rest assured that you will be warmly welcomed and feel safe and confident whilst you volunteer here.’