Volunteers urgently needed to help out at Rennie Grove Peace Hospice charity hub in Berkhamsted

The local charity is calling on people to consider giving up some time to keep its charity online retail operation running
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Volunteers are urgently needed to help out at Rennie Grove Peace Hospice’s charity hub in Berkhamsted.

The charity sells around 250 items per week on sites such as eBay and Vinted, meaning around 200 parcels need to be dispatched and packed per day. The charity currently has a team of six dedicated volunteers who give up their time to package and dispatch parcels, but bosses warn that without more volunteers, they simply won’t be able to keep up with demand.

Sarah Gaywood, Ecommerce Manager at Rennie Grove Peace, says:

l-r volunteers Karen and Hilaryl-r volunteers Karen and Hilary
l-r volunteers Karen and Hilary

“Our ecommerce packers are an integral part of the wider Retail & Trading team – packing is one of the most important roles because it represents the end of the journey for donated items. They wrap around 200 parcels each week and our purchased items would not get to their new homes without them. They do a fantastic job of packing items from tiny antiques and jewellery to collectibles and fashion. We currently have vacancies for two packers on Tuesdays, and without new volunteers, we risk being unable to fulfil customers’ orders.

“Our online sales make up a huge part of our retail operation, bringing in, on average, around £6,000 per week. Every penny raised through both online and offline sales is used to fund our services for local people without life-limiting illnesses. Without more volunteers to support our online shop, we risk a fall in retail income that could affect the services we’re able to deliver for patients.”

Volunteers are asked to commit either half a day or a full day once a week, based at the Northbridge Road site.

Karen, from St Albans, has been a volunteer packer for over two years and volunteers once a week.

She says: “I love working as part of this team to help generate funds for such a worthwhile charity. It’s a really exciting place to be, you see such a variety of items coming through and it’s very busy – I pack up to around 40 items a day. I tend to look after the jewellery and take pride in doing a good job – it’s so important to make sure items get to their new home safely, especially when you’re sending items of high value. I also get involved with buddying for new volunteers to support them into the role, which I also really enjoy.”

Hilary, from Hemel Hempstead, has been volunteering as a packer for over three years and dedicates her time at least once a week.

She says: “I love seeing the nice clothes that come through our ecommerce operation and I am amazed at the wonderful items that are donated and find their way to the hub to be sold on our online selling platforms. It’s a lovely place to volunteer and really sociable – I have made friends here and it gets me out and keeps me busy. Supporting the charity became even more special to me four years ago when my best friend was cared for by Rennie Grove – it really reinforced how important it is to give back.”

To volunteer or find out more, visit the website or contact the team by email.

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