Pendleside Hospice has launched an urgent appeal for volunteers under the age of 60 to help in its 10 shops when they hopefully reopen on June 15.
The shops across Burnley and Pendle are a lifeline to the hospice and contribute more than £500,000 a year to the running of Pendleside - relying heavily on volunteer staff.
The appeal comes during Volunteers’ Week 2020, which runs between June 1 and 7. It is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.
This year, the focus nationally, is on supporting volunteers to take on coronavirus-related volunteering roles to help communities cope with the many consequences of the pandemic.
Before Pendleside’s shops were forced to close because of Covid 19 around 250 volunteers worked on rota to serve behind the till, sort donations, display and rotate stock and test electrical items.
Unfortunately, most of the volunteers are retired and over 65 with many aged in their 70s. So, when the shops reopen most of them will still be considered to be vulnerable and not available to attend the shops.
Helen McVey, chief executive at Pendleside, said: “It’s good news that we can start looking at reopening our shops but because of the volunteer shortage we will have to plan opening one shop at a time and see how it works out.
“The first shop we are aiming to open on June 15 will be our shop in Dockray Street in Colne. If that is successful and we get the required number of people to run it we will then probably look at reopening our shop in Barnoldswick. The others would open if and when we achieve the right number of volunteers to staff them.
“Obviously, it’s not going to be easy but in the short-term perhaps people who are on furlough from their normal jobs and are allowed to do voluntary work may be interested in offering a helping hand a few hours a week.”
In normal times there are opportunities to volunteer to carry out work across the hospice’s activities and volunteers play an integral and essential role in delivering the services.
They strengthen the hospice’s role by offering help and support in a variety of settings including clinical services, fundraising, family and bereavement support, gardens, and administration - as well as the shops.
Without their support Pendleside would not be able to provide the level of support it gives to the people who need its care.
If you would like to join Pendleside’s team of volunteers please complete the volunteer application form on the Pendleside website and send to Julie Hodgkinson either by post or email: [email protected] or telephone 01282 440105