Furloughed or redundant service workers are being asked to lend a hand by helping out in their local charity shop.
Derian House Children’s Hospice, based in Chorley, is in desperate need of volunteers to help run its shops in Leyland, Chorley and Horwich.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant volunteer numbers are down after many helpers were forced to shield or isolate.
Now the charity, which offers respite and end-of-life care to more than 400 children and young adults with life-limiting conditions from across the North West, is hoping those who have skills in the service industry can come to its rescue.
“We know there are loads of really skilled people out there who have great experience in the service industry but have been furloughed or made redundant,” said Andrew Upton-Ford, Retail Manager at Derian House.
“We’d love for them to help us out by offering to volunteer at our shops while we’re finding it hard to cover the hours with the staff and volunteers we have.
“Volunteers are our lifeblood and we simply couldn’t operate our network of shops without them. We’re really flexible with our days and times and they don’t need to have specific retail experience – anyone who has worked in a bar or restaurant would be ideal too.”
The charity is looking to recruit around 30 volunteers for its shops in Leyland, Horwich and Chorley. Duties would include serving customers, displaying goods and light cleaning.
There are also vacancies for volunteers at the charity’s warehouse in Adlington where duties include sorting through donations, putting products on eBay and driving.
Volunteers can give as much or as little of their time as they wish, with opening hours Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
The benefits of volunteering are well-documented, with people reporting increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
It is a way of making new friends, learning new skills and giving back to your local community.
Emma Loughlin volunteers at Derian House Children’s Hospice Leyland charity shop for two days a week and says volunteering is a two-way street.
She said: “I enjoy volunteering at the shop so much. It gets me out and about meeting new people and I look forward to it every week. Everyone at Derian House is so friendly and I like how it’s a two-way thing – I’m helping raise money for the children and this is helping me as well.”
Derian House Children’s Hospice needs £4.8 million to run its services this year. It receives less than 7 per cent of this from government and NHS funding and relies heavily on the support of its community.
To find out more about the charity visit www.derianhouse.co.uk
To register your interest for volunteering please call Frances Lees on 01257 233 300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.