160 Appeal: Charity shop aims for helpers’ boost

Swindon Advertiser: Prospect charity shop in Toothill is looking for more volunteers to help out in the shop. From left, volunteer Charlotte Markham, store manager Jodie Prescott  and assistant store manager Amy Bracey Prospect charity shop in Toothill is looking for more volunteers to help out in the shop. From left, volunteer Charlotte Markham, store manager Jodie Prescott and assistant store manager Amy Bracey

A NEW Prospect Hospice shop is seeking extra volunteers to help with donations of up to 60 bags a day.

The shop in Toothill Village Centre opened at the end of last year, and business is picking up steadily as the local community have embraced the charity.

Prospect, which runs 16 shops around Swindon and North Wiltshire, welcomes more volunteers as it raises vital funds for end of life care.

Amy Bracey, assistant manager at the Toothill store, said work is improving after inroads have been made in the area over the last two months.

“We opened up at the beginning of December,” she said. “We were lucky that a unit became available, which had been run by the council. “Prospect Hospice and Swindon Council have a good relationship, so they gave it to us.

“It takes time for people to become aware of where we are, but we have our regular base of customers now. There are lots of donations coming in, and it can vary from between two to 60 bags every day.

“Because it’s a smaller shop it is quite challenging. You never know what you are going to get through the door. The strangest thing we have got in so far was a pot of used dentures. Safe to say we did not sell them.”

Amy, 33, has worked with hospices for years. “I recently moved to Swindon, and before this I worked for a hospice in Devon,” she said. “When this shop became available I knew I wanted to get involved.

“I moved here in August, and you soon become aware of the good work Prospect does in providing care.

“I am married to a priest, so his work ties into hospice care. “It is different to anything else and nothing like working in a high street store. It’s a varied job, which is important because it keeps you interested.

“Local charities are so much more highly regarded so it is a very rewarding job to take on.

“We are always looking for good quality clothing. Ladies clothing sells very well, as well as children’s toys. As long as it is in good condition we can sell it.

“There are two of us working here, a full time manager, Jodie Prescott, and myself. On top of that we have quite a few volunteers, currently around 15 who cover various shifts.

“A lot of our shops are looking for volunteers at the moment. If anyone was thinking of volunteering we would be able to put them anywhere. “We would like to have another weekly slot from someone if possible, and it would only require a few hours of their time.

“We need someone chirpy and jolly. It can be quite hard work at times, so they will need to enjoy mucking in. We welcome any age or circumstances, as long as they get on with people.

“We will be able to take on as many as are willing to apply. “We usually do a trial run first so they can see if they enjoy it before we take them on fully.”

To apply visit www.prospect-hospice.net or drop in to your local store for an application form.

l To mark its 160th anniversary, the Swindon Advertiser is launching one of the most ambitious campaigns in its history to raise £160,000 by December in aid of Prospect Hospice. To find out how to donate and get involved visit www.swindon advertiser.co.uk/prospect_appeal/. Let us know if you are taking part in events for Prospect Hospice by emailing 160appeal@swindon advertiser.co.uk.

How to get involved...

By cheque: With the donation form in today's Adver. ​

By card: Online through the donate now button, www.prospect-hospice.net.

In cash: Prospect Hospice reception in Wroughton, Prospect Hospice retail shops or the Swindon Advertiser office Prospect Hospice can also take card donations over the phone – contact the fundraising team on 01793 816161.

Taking part in an event for Prospect? Why not donate through our appeal – let us know via email on 160appeal@swindonadvertiser.co.uk or call us on 01793 501806.

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