Rowcroft shops raise vital funds towards patient care and play a key role in our fundraising efforts each year. Graeme Baker is part of our committed team of retail volunteers who sort, hang, price and sell an enormous amount of donated goods each year. We asked him a few questions about his role at Rowcroft in our Distribution Centre based on Brunel Road, Newton Abbot.
What is your volunteer role for Rowcroft and what does it entail?
I sort the bric-a-brac which is everything except clothes and furniture really. I look for things which are worth a sensible amount of money and sort them between the different levels of shops.
What attracted you to this role?
I’ve been volunteering for about 4 or 5 years, I think. When my wife died two years ago, you happened to advertise that you were looking for volunteers. I only live around the corner, so it seemed to be close and I knew nothing about what you do, so it was a way to learn more.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Rowcroft?
Well, I’m interested in antiques and I enjoy looking for things that might be worth some value that somebody else has missed when they donate. We found a pair of decanters with their original hanging silver labels hallmarked Birmingham 1926, and that was a real treasure! Those moments are what make this really good.
How do you think you have benefitted from volunteering for Rowcroft?
Personally, volunteering was a life saver after my wife died. There are people who have been in my situation who were prepared to sit down in a quiet corner when I felt bad and needed to cry.
So, it is that social aspect and support that comes with it that has benefitted me.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering for Rowcroft?
Do it! I would say to someone who wants to volunteer at the Distribution Centre to not be put off by the fact you think there might be a lot of lifting or typical ‘warehouse’ jobs as there is a lot of choice you could do.
You can deal with anything from books, music, bric-a-brac, clothes, or even just on the door. You can crush cardboard if you wanted!
There will be a job you could do, and you would enjoy the company and the general atmosphere.
Do you have to be specialised in a certain area to volunteer for Rowcroft?
I don’t think you do. If you are then that is a bonus, but none of us are!
A bit of general knowledge in jewellery, music, or books, or just a general interest is an advantage for volunteering in the Distribution Centre, but it isn’t really necessary.
If you are interested in volunteering for Rowcroft Hospice and want to help us raise vital funds, please view our current opportunities.