Herriot Hospice Homecare appeals for store volunteers

Lorraine Belsey (left) with Caroline Laskey, manager of Herriot’s Richmond store.

A local hospice care charity is appealing for more volunteers to help out in its seven stores across Hambleton and Richmondshire.

Herriot Hospice Homecare has seven charity shops – Richmond, Catterick, Bedale, Stokesley, Northallerton, Thirsk and Masham.

After a record year in the stores in 2018, the charity is hoping to do even better in 2019, but it is asking for the support of local people.

Lorraine Belsey, Herriot’s area retail manager, said: “It costs Herriot almost £1 million each year to support local families, with services which include end of life care, bereavement support, befriending, respite support and driving services.

“Our shops account for a third of this income so they play a very important part in the work of the charity.

“We currently have 64 volunteers working across the stores and they have all contributed to what has been our most successful year.

“We want to build on this further in 2019, but to do this we need more volunteers willing to help us raise the vital funds needed to provide our care.

“Whether it’s a few hours a week, or more, any extra support we can get will make a difference and aside from the help it gives to Herriot, it is also a good way for people to gain confidence and a real sense of achievement.

“It gives people the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills and gain experience.”

Lorraine says one of the keys to the success of the charity shops has been the high quality donations they receive from members of the public.

She added: “At any one time, if you go into any of our seven shops you will see designer clothing, party wear, high quality homewares and electrical items.

“Because we want the shops to have a boutique feel, we are particular in what we put out for sale, but nothing that is donated is wasted.

“Anything we are not able to display is sold for rags or recycling and on average we make £26,000 per year just by doing this, so every single donation does count.”

When making donations, Herriot Hospice Homecare would like to ask anyone who is a taxpayer to fill out a brief Gift Aid form, which enables the charity to claim an extra 25p from every £1 raised from the sale of donated items.

Lorraine said: “When people agree to Gift Aid they get a card with a unique reference number which enables us to provide them with a figure each year showing how much the items they donated made the charity.

“This means they know exactly what their donations have meant to Herriot Hospice Homecare so, for example, £50 pays for a full bereavement session, £100 pays for a month of respite sitting for a carer and £200 funds the journeys of a Heath Care Assistant for a month to provide care to terminally ill people.”

People who would like to find out more about volunteering at Herriot’s charity shops can contact 01609 777413.