Volunteers week: Alison's story - Nottinghamshire Hospice
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6th June 2019

Volunteers week: Alison's story


During Volunteers Week we are celebrating our wonderful volunteers and sharing their stories. Today we feature our retail volunteer Alison.

When Alison travelled back to Nottingham in March 2018 from her home in Nova Scotia, Canada, to help her 84-year-old mother arrange cataract surgery, she thought it would be for a couple of weeks and only brought a small suitcase of clothes.

Her mother became poorly with kidney disease and needed someone with her, so Alison stayed in the UK and became her main carer. Short of clothes, she popped into the Mapperley Hospice shop to browse the clothing and liked it so much she kept returning.

“I thought the clothing was fantastic and the staff really friendly so I kept going back.  I was in so often they suggested I volunteered at the shop. It was like a light bulb going off. I knew that was what I wanted to do,” said Alison, who now works three shifts a week at the shop.

“I love it. It gets me using my brain again and I love the customer contact. I like creating displays and I like the fact that I’ve got a work family again. It’s a fantastic break from caring and it gives my mum a break from me too.”

Alison at the Mapperley shop

Alison at the Mapperley shop

Alison, who worked as a pharmacist in Canada says it is tough being so far away from her husband and family back home, but working at the hospice shop helps fill a void, and has social benefits too.

“I love the people at the shop. They are a very social bunch and we go out regularly after work. I thoroughly enjoy going,” she added.

Alison’s father in law received hospice care before he died so she is committed to the cause, having seen the benefits first-hand.

“It made the world of difference to the family,” she said. “So I know how important hospice care is and I’m happy to be able to contribute.”

Volunteers are an essential, highly valued part of the hospice team. There are many volunteer roles available including fundraising, patient care and working in our shops.  Find out more about volunteering with Nottinghamshire Hospice here.