We’ve all imagined finding that dream job; a role so rewarding and satisfying that it is a pleasure to go to work every day. For Lisa, it’s true.
Lisa is 54 years old and loves her job. Her journey with ellenor first began when her friend passed away in ellenor hospice in Gravesend. Following Thomas's death, Lisa went on to take up the challenge of volunteering and today works full time as a Manager of ellenor’s charity shop in Northfleet. Here she talks about why charity shops play an important role in supporting local people as well as generating vital cash to fund ellenor’s services.
“It is definitely not every day you can say you love your job, but I do! I wanted a job where I could make a difference and be part of my local community – that at the end of the day, when I went home, I know that I have raised money to help local families in need of hospice care.
“In recent years there is a better understanding of what hospice care is. It’s no longer just a place for end of life care – it’s about offering a range of services to help people live well with the time they have available. The vast majority of ellenor’s care is provided in the community, including people’s own homes, and our charity shops raise vital funds to support the charity.
“ellenor has 14 charity shops across Kent and Bexley full of affordable, good quality items such as houseware, shoes, designer and vintage wear. Due to the current coronavirus situation, only four of them are open.
The money raised by our shops contributes significantly to the £7 million needed each and every year to continue to provide our services, free of charge to patients and their carers. Now in the wake of Covid-19, we need our community now more than ever. We need you coming in and spending your money. Every pound we raise in our shops, will make a difference to ellenor.
Just £34 worth of your donation can enable one of our Health Care Assistance to make an essential home visit to a family in need. If your donations raised £232, this would fund a session of chemotherapy for a child at home.
“Our shops are community hubs and are run by volunteers. I love our customers, they come in and have a chat especially if they are lonely or want to find out about our services and support, they may need or they come in to donate or buy items. Families who have grown up in front of me, who can’t afford to make a donation can still bring things in for us to sell and support the hospice - they want us to raise as much money as we can. One of my customers said last week ‘Did you sell my wife’s handbag?’. And when I say, ‘Yes babe, we made a tenner on that and with gift aid, your donation has now made ellenor £12.50, they are over the moon”.
“As a single parent with 9 children, I’ve experienced difficult times so if anyone knows what it’s like to be skint, to try and dress your kids with no money, then it’s me. Our charity shops can give you top brands, like Nike and Adidas and we can dress your kids from top to bottom for £20.
“Another reason why I love working at ellenor is my volunteers! They are hardworking, energetic, just INCREDIBLE! They are always looking for ways to raise more money for children and adults under ellenor’s care and make our shop look better. I can call them at 10pm and say we need to clean that window in the shop, and I will have an army of volunteers, that’s how lucky I am. I do not expect any of my volunteers to do one thing that I wouldn’t do. We will scrub floors on our hands and knees, but they won’t be doing it on their own. I will be doing it with them. That makes us like a family committed to I will look after them because they will look after me, we are part of the ellenor family committed to doing our best for each other and for our customers.
“I’m very proud to work for ellenor. I work for an incredible charity knowing that our shops make a difference to the local community”.