At St Andrew’s Hospice and Andy’s we are celebrating all of our amazing volunteers, all week from the 1st – 7th of June. Our volunteers are a vital part of our workforce and it wouldn’t be possible for us to deliver our services without their time and effort. To show our thanks and appreciation we’re going to share the stories of three volunteers from different areas of our organisation this week.
Katie Clarke volunteers for Andy's Children’s Hospice shop on Newland Avenue in Hull. She has worked there since February this year and feels like she fits in so well that she thinks of her fellow co-workers as family. Her time in the shop varies from steaming donated items to operating the tills but one of her favourite things is interacting with the customers. She says that they are “a mixture of people who are really nice to chat to.”
Katie is originally from Liverpool and moved to Hull four years ago after the tragic loss of her unborn son. She was new to the area so had to form new friendships and routines. During this transition, she used to visit the shop on a regular basis and found the staff so warm and welcoming, that one day she found the confidence to ask if she could become a volunteer herself. Katie described herself before volunteering as a shy person who was lacking in self-confidence. We are so pleased that Katie join us, as she has become a very important member of the team. Her colleagues have seen Katie come out of her shell and describe her now as a bubbly people-person who provides great customer service. They value all of the hard work she puts in to the shop and know they can rely on her to do a great job.
She has a very active life with her fiancé and her four children, ranging from two to 11 years old. However, Katie still maintains that this was the perfect time to begin volunteering as everything just seemed to fall into place. She says that she is fortunate that her mum in law helps with childcare so she can help in the shop. “The shop brightens the day up; I feel like I work with my family and if I or someone has a bad day, we pick each other up and support each other”
We count ourselves lucky to have Katie on our team and are very pleased that she has no plans to leave her position any time soon because she feels like she is getting so much from it. She is learning new skills and she is pleased that her confidence is developing. Katie feels like volunteering for Andy’s helps her to fulfil another of her aims, which is to help families who are experiencing a similar situation like she was at the death of her son. She wants to help other families spend time together and have the opportunity to grant wishes to their children. The dedication of her time helps us to support children and families at the time of their need and we can’t thank her enough.
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