St Peter’s Hospice shop in Henbury celebrated 20 years serving the local community this week – and one very special volunteer has been there even longer
96-year-old Cis Griffiths helped prepare the Henbury shop for opening back in 1997 and has volunteered for the shop ever since. Cis still helps out today by knitting costumes for the dolls sold in the shop.
Cis said: “When I retired, I was fed up of being home. I’ve always been a busy person, raising my children on my own, and this was a completely different field.
“My brother, dad and granddad all died of cancer so I’m pleased to be helping out others going through it.
“I had to stop for a while when I had vertigo, and when I asked to come back the manager said ‘you don’t need to ask!’ and I came straight back.”
Cis no longer works on the shop floor, but still supports St Peter’s Hospice by taking in all dolls donated to the Henbury shop, cleaning them and making outfits for them ready for sale.
“I’ve loved every minute,” said Cis. “I still pop in for a chat with the manager Karen, or whoever is about. I’m still one of the family.”
Henbury Assistant Manager Veronika Kupcova said: “Our shop is very proud to have been a part of the vibrant local community here in Henbury for the past 20 years. We’d like to thank all our loyal volunteers and customers for all their support and for helping us raise funds for St Peter’s Hospice.
“Our heartfelt thanks go to Cis, who has been volunteering with us for all these years and has been an indispensable part of our team.”
To celebrate the shop’s anniversary, Cis and other volunteers were taken out for tea and cake, with more cake brought into the shop.
For customers there was a raffle, and special 10% discount to say thank you to the people of Henbury for supporting the shop, and St Peter’s Hospice, so well for two decades.
Since 2000 the Henbury shop has made a total profit of £415,000 for St Peter’s Hospice – a tremendous contribution but with St Peter’s Hospice requiring £19,000 a day to operate, the work of volunteers such as Cis is vital. In the 2016/17 financial year the shop had the benefit of 3,746 volunteer hours.
The first week of June is Volunteers’ Week, when organisations across the UK celebrate the contribution made by volunteers and thank them for the difference they make.
Paul Chivers, Head of Retail said: “Volunteers are crucial to the running of our shops across Bristol and now, more than ever, we need our shops to generate enough funds to continue supporting our patients.
“It costs more than ever before to do this – around £19,000 a day in fact, and our 50 shops across Bristol generate a large chunk of those funds.
“Many of our volunteers have been with us for years but are now retiring, so we are looking to the local community to helps us recruit more.”
To find out more about volunteering opportunities with St Peter’s Hospice – whether in a shop, as part of the Hospice Neighbours Network, at the Hospice itself or in any other way – please visit stpetershospice.org.uk/volunteer or pop into your local St Peter’s Hospice Shop.
For other ways of supporting the Hospice or to make a donation visit stpetershospice.org.uk/support-us.