Rob Rowan speaks of his experience of volunteering in the Willowbrook Hospice Charity shop in Prescot. Spoiler: it’s very rewarding and lots of fun!

“As a volunteer at my local Willowbrook Charity Shop, I want to share my experience but above all, I want to encourage others to join me in volunteering for a fantastic cause!

Fortunately, I have the time to donate to the shop and Willowbrook is extremely accommodating. They only need 4 hours per week of your time in the first instance but if you want to donate more time as I do, that’s great as well.

The wide range of volunteering opportunities within the shop was a key motivator for me: using my passion to make an impact and be a part of something big is exciting.

Plus, volunteering is great for your mental health! Doing something positive for the local community, in addition to learning new skills and meeting new people, has been very rewarding for me.

I do think it’s important that you volunteer for a charity or cause that is close to your heart though. If you are truly passionate and enthusiastic about the cause, that will shine through.

The team were warm and welcoming, and I got stuck in right away in the busy shop. I covered a wide range of roles including serving customers (I’m now a pro on the till!), pricing stock, visual merchandising, sorting through donated items and I now run the furniture sales section.

After my first shift, I came away feeling inspired by the like-minded, motivated and positive volunteers around me. And it was interesting to talk to some of the other volunteers about their backgrounds and interests. It became clear that volunteering with Willowbrook really is for everyone, no matter your lifestyle. Whether you are a student, a full-time professional, a retiree (to name a few examples), there is a role to suit everyone!

I enjoyed learning these new skills. You don’t need to be experienced to work in any of the charity shops, as you will receive training and find that you learn the new skills quickly as well as using your existing ones. Committing even as little as one hour per week will have a profound benefit to both the charity and to your own mental health and wellbeing.”

Interested? – Contact The Volunteer Team: Nicola or Ian on 01744 453798 or to apply directly go to www.willowbrook.org.uk and hit the Blue volunteer button. We cant wait to hear from you!