Arthur Rank Hospice Charity goes shopping for Volunteers’ Week

Hospice shops and online retail are on the search for new recruits.


Arthur Rank Hospice Charity is refocusing its retail offering for 2016 and is now actively recruiting enthusiastic volunteers ahead of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 – 12 June . The Charity is in desperate need of extra volunteers to help man their three Cambridge hospice shops and support expanding online trading via eBay and Amazon.

The Hospice’s retail activities raised £224,191 last financial year and the charity has ambitions to increase charity income from retail streams by at least 10% by the end of 2016. The Charity now needs to find in the region of 25 volunteers in order to achieve its aims. Individuals are welcome to take on as few or as many hours as they like and can specify whether they would prefer their role to encompass customer facing, back-of-shop and/or online orientated duties.

Over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year contributing a huge £23.9bn to the UK economy. Data collected by the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in 2013 demonstrates that a combined donation of 38,875 volunteer hours equated to an economic value of over half a million pounds! Volunteers are essential across all areas of the organisation, with more than three hundred already providing and enhancing essential support in a myriad of roles.

Within the Hospice’s three shops a team of skilled and experienced volunteers generously donate numerous hours per week, sorting donations and offering a friendly service to customers. However, more are now desperately needed, especially at Mill Road - where the largest proportion of donations are made - and to provide support for Amazon and eBay trading which have seen dramatic increases in sales since an online retail assistant was appointed at the start of the year.

Eileen Hughes, Retail Manager said: “We are delighted that so many of our supporters donate their pre-loved items to us and that quality, more in-demand items are now being sold successfully both over the counter and online, fetching higher donation prices. We’re really hoping we that members of the local community might now volunteer a little of their time to support our growth – together we can make even more of a difference to the amazing care and services our Hospice provides.”

Volunteering is a great way to give back, but the relationship between volunteers and the charity is often reciprocal with volunteers often reporting that they feel better or healthier after helping out . Roles may add practical skills to a CV, afford an opportunity to socialise with fellow volunteers and allows them to feel more engaged with the local community or to give a renewed sense of purpose to an individual.

Volunteer Anne Little (pictured), who has been volunteering at the Regent Street hospice shop since 2013, explains her passion for her role: “The reason I volunteer is to give something back to the Hospice as a thank you for the wonderful care given to my late husband and family during this most difficult time. I really enjoy my work in the shop: being a chatty northerner I like talking with the customers! The volunteers I work with are a lovely bunch of people.”

Those interested in volunteering in the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity Shops can chose to offer as little as two to three hours every week or fortnight, at either of the hospice shops on Mill Road or Regent Street or in the online depot. All levels of experience are welcome and full training & support will be provided. Please note that applicants must be over the age of 15 for shop based roles. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit the Charity's website page, contact Vipra Jain from the Volunteer Services team on 01223 723117 or email


Looking for something specific?