Stephanie, or as her friends in both the Buckingham and Winslow FHNC shops like to call her – ‘Stevie’, has been volunteering with us for an incredible twenty years. Not only has Stevie been volunteering with us, she has also been involved with the National Trust both as a paid staff member and volunteer after retirement.
Throughout her time with us, she has been a volunteer Shop Assistant. Engaging with countless customers, sorting an innumerable amount of generous donations from our supporters and being an amazing ambassador for the charity.
When the Winslow shop opened, Stevie would often visit to peruse the book section of the shop. Being an avid reader and book collector, she was always on the lookout for her next great read. After roughly six months of getting to know the shop, volunteers and staff there, Stevie decided to volunteer at the shop as she thought “it looked great fun”.
The reading most definitely didn’t stop when she joined us. A couple of years ago, after her granddaughter expressed an interest in reading as well, they discussed what book they should read together. A true classic that both of them hadn’t read yet was Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’. After agreeing on the title, it was now a waiting game until a copy came through the shop door and after three weeks or so, one did!
Not only do they read together but in the summer months her granddaughter joins Stevie in the shops to volunteer. Which is truly delightful, and we thank Stevie’s granddaughter as well for the time she gives during her summer holidays.
When asked about why she volunteers and what she enjoys about volunteering, Stevie replied;
“It’s all about the friends you make and the people you meet. I can easily say some of the biggest laughs I’ve had have been whilst working in the shops.”
Of course, during such an impressive amount of time there have been many memorable moments and unique donations. When asked about her favourite memories she genuinely couldn’t pick one, “that’s a difficult question as so many things have happened. However, overall, I’ve really enjoyed that volunteers support one another and the openness between us all is just lovely”.
In terms of donations, there were so many to choose from that again it was a difficult decision. Stevie did share that she did enjoy a recent donation of a fantastic pair of vintage glass binoculars, which is definitely one of the more intriguing donations we’ve seen.
The final question we asked Stevie in our interview was ‘what would you say to those thinking of volunteering?’ Stevie’s response was passionate;
“Come and join! Make friends. Knowing that you’re helping make money for the hospice and having fun in the meantime is great.”
Twenty years is such a fantastic achievement, and we can’t be more thankful or happy that Stevie is with us. We also wish her all the best on the ongoing search for more classic books to add to her collection.
From all of us at the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, we thank you, Stevie.