Giving new life to old currency

Volunteer Ann explains how your old foreign coins can make a shiny new difference

Ann Harrington is one of Rowcroft’s friendly faces in the hospice’s reception. Her contribution to Rowcroft is extraordinary – not only through her remarkable 18 years of volunteering, but also in her recent generous donation to the hospice of all her old foreign and out-of-circulation notes and coins that she’s been collecting for decades. In this blog, Ann highlights the big impact that foreign coins can make to the hospice in raising funds to help Rowcroft care for our patients and those closest to them. In fact, over the last 18 months, around £2000 has been raised for Rowcroft through donations of foreign coins.

Joining the Rowcroft team

“I’ve been volunteering for Rowcroft for 18 years. After retiring, I wanted to do something useful with my time, as I had previously led an active lifestyle. When I first started at Rowcroft, I assisted the volunteer’s manager with clerical work in the office. One day I was asked to stand in at reception, and I found I really enjoyed it. Since then, volunteering in reception has become my primary role at Rowcroft.”

Helping and connecting with people

“Working in reception involves answering the telephone, welcoming and logging in visitors, and making sure everyone gets to where they need to go. The role is quite sociable, and I’ve found that I love meeting and chatting to people! It’s nice to feel that I am being useful, it brings me much joy.”

Witnessing compassion in action

“I think the hospice is a wonderful place. Some people may perceive it as a sad place, but it’s not. Many relatives of patients have said this to us. The nursing staff, both on the wards and in the community, they’re special people. When I see them in action with a patient, I’m in awe of how kind and caring they are. It takes a very special person to do what they do.”

Donating forgotten notes and coins

“At Rowcroft, foreign and expired coins are welcomed as donations. My husband and I used to travel a lot, and when we moved house 18 months ago, lots of forgotten foreign and expired notes and coins came out of the woodwork! I have collected these together to donate to Rowcroft. We found currency from past holidays and travelling in various countries, including Greece, Italy, the Caribbean, and other places! We also discovered lots of old coins that are no longer in circulation.”

Ann’s story of saved sixpences

“We found a large collection of sixpences. Sixpences were valued at 2.5 pence, with 40 sixpences making up one pound. When the government announced they were withdrawing sixpences in 1980, my husband, who had a fondness for them, started a one-man campaign to try to keep them in circulation. Every few weeks, we would take £50 worth of sixpences from the bank and try to spend as many as we could. Some of my husband’s colleagues even joined in! However, eventually sixpences did not remain in circulation, and we ended up with an accumulation of them. We used to keep them in an old-fashioned brandy jar, but they have been sitting unused in a box for some time now.”

How forgotten currency can make a difference

“I encourage everyone to unearth forgotten foreign and expired currency and bring it to the hospice or to one of Rowcroft’s shops. You might not think it’ll be worth much, but once you put it together with other donations, it can amount to more than you anticipate!”

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