7th June 2020
Oliver Pratley (25) volunteers at the Blidworth shop on Tuesdays and Saturdays where he prices up stock, arranges displays, meets and greets customers and serves refreshments to visitors.
Oliver says: “I like meeting the people who come in. We get a lot of the same people coming in so you get to know them. I like the staff here and I talk to them a lot. I also like making cups of tea and coffee for people. I am the best coffee maker!”
Oliver, who has Downs Syndrome, fits in volunteering at the hospice alongside his many other activities. He also volunteers at Portland College two days a week where he works in the kitchen. An accomplished swimmer who holds 12 records including a world record at the Special Olympics, Oliver also enjoys beat boxing, football, rugby and cricket. When he was just 15, he swam for GB at the World Downs Syndrome
Swimming Championships in Taiwan, claiming four Junior World records and five European Records, he was the youngest GB swimmer there. His mum Helen made contact with the hospice after seeing a callout for volunteers when the shop first opened. She said: “I thought it would be nice for him to try something different, and he enjoys it as he likes meeting people.”