Why not become a hospice volunteer this year?

Ann Worrall
Ann Worrall

As the New Year begins, many people will make an array of resolutions from joining a gym or giving up smoking to changing career.


Most of these revolve around actions which will be of benefit to our well-being but why not commit to a New Year’s resolution that benefits others and yourself at the same time?

Vicky Jackson

Vicky Jackson

Willowbrook Hospice is urging local people to think seriously about choosing volunteering as one of their New Year pledges.

Bev Neilson, Retail Volunteer Coordinator for Willowbrook Hospice said: “Many of us are full of possibilities and good intentions, but by the end of January some of those good intentions have faded away.

"Volunteering offers a whole assortment of opportunities which can help meet your personal goals as well as making a difference.

"If you want to be more active, why not get involved in one of our roles in a busy shop or assisting in moving and delivering furniture, or if you are thinking of pursuing a job in a particular area, what better way to see what it’s like than by volunteering in that area like admin or retail?

"Volunteering is also an ideal opportunity for people who work part time, are having a career break or retired as it gives you the chance to meet new people, gain new skills and have new experiences.”

Willowbrook Hospice has 12 shops across the St Helens and Knowsley area that have volunteer opportunities, these shops vary in size and what they offer.

There’s a large shop in Sutton that also serves as a donation warehouse, a specialist children and baby shop in Bridge Street, a large superstore in Prescot, plus many more!

If you are interested in volunteering or want to find out more call Bev on 01744 766929, email help@willowbrookhospice.org.uk or visit www.willowbrookhopsice.org.uk

‘Paying the hospice back’ - Ann’s story

Ann Worrall who volunteers in three of Willowbrook Hospice’s shops, she says: “I originally began to volunteer at Willowbrook as my way of ‘paying the hospice back’ for the care they
had given to my husband, Alan.

"Over the years, I’ve gained a real insight into the profound difference volunteers make to Willowbrook and the local community that the hospice serves.

"Willowbrook Hospice cares for local people with life limiting illnesses, as well as their families. When I am volunteering in the shop I know I am raising vital funds for the hospice, while having a sense of accomplishment and giving back to my local community.’

‘Every little counts’ - Vicky’s story
Vicky Jackson, 32, began volunteering with Willowbrook five years ago, starting at the Page Moss shop before moving on this November to work in one of Willowbrook’s shops in St Helens. She recently successfully applied for a job as a Shop Manager and now works full time at the Bridge Street shop.

Vicky says: “I knew about Willowbrook from the wonderful care they had given to a member of my extended family. With my son at primary school, I decided that I wanted to update my skills and gain more experience in retail and admin so volunteering at one of the Willowbrook charity shops seemed a ‘natural progression’ for me.

"I immediately felt so welcome by all the other volunteers and loved chatting to the customers – it felt like a real family atmosphere and I got such a ‘buzz’ from knowing that I was helping the hospice to raise funds so that they could continue to care and support people in our local community.

“I know that everyone’s circumstances are different and that people have different pulls on their time but whether you can give a few hours, half a day or more…every little counts and
I would recommend volunteering for Willowbrook to anyone.”