Celebrating International Volunteers Day with Beth

I start work at 10am and it’s always lovely to be welcomed so warmly by Esme, the Shop Manager, and Duck, (David), who also works Wednesdays. 

Jackie is also often in on a Wednesday and it’s so nice to see familiar faces. 

When your life revolves around being at home with your kids, it gives an extra sense of belonging. It’s not a stuffy, serious vibe at work, it’s very much a friendship feel, with good banter and a chance to get to know each other.

This means the team can feel like your support system, when you’re waffling about the trials and tribulations of life, or parenting! It also extends your friendship circle when you bump into them whilst out! 

One of my main duties now includes working on Facebook. I check with Esme which section she wants me to concentrate on that day, e.g. Ladies, Men’s, Kids, Christmas etc, and I take lots of pictures of things that I think will sell well. I then upload them to the St Ann’s Romiley Facebook page, along with details of all the ways people can get in touch with us and details of any special offers on that day. 

Once uploaded, I then share the post to many different Facebook groups around the Stockport area. Once that’s done, I reply to any messages that come through, checking the size of an item, or price, or asking us to hold an item for up to 48 hours.

As well as Facebook duties, I also work on the till., putting purchases through or printing out labels for donations received. I also encourage customers to sign up to Gift Aid

When customers come into the shop with bags of donations, I take them through to the back so that they can be sorted. I’m a very social, outgoing person, so I love interacting with the customers and will always greet them as they enter and leave the shop. 

I’m more than happy to chat with them if they look like they’d appreciate that!

I love knowing that whilst I get a lot out of volunteering, it’s also for a bigger cause and a bigger picture.

Beth Crowcroft, Volunteer Shop Assistant

I finish work at 12pm, having packed lots into the two hours I’m there. Over the course of the five years I’ve been at Romiley St Ann’s shop, the amount of time spent volunteering weekly has varied. I initially did one morning a week and then built it up to two mornings a week.

Due to home circumstances, I then needed to go back down to one morning a week. I love the flexibility that comes with volunteering here. 

Here’s to many more years volunteering at Romiley St Ann’s shop, as it really is such a welcoming, friendly place!

Celebrating our staff and volunteers

Our annual celebration event is an opportunity to recognise the hard work and commitment of our teams, and to celebrate the milestones of long-service staff and volunteers.

This year we were delighted that the event could take place in person, for the first time since the pandemic, at our Little Hulton hospice.

As well as celebrating the dedication of our long-serving staff and volunteers, we announced the exceptional winners of this year’s Chair awards yesterday. Jackie Oldham and Rachel McMillan co-hosted the event.

I’m really excited that it’s the first time in three years we’re been able to do this face to face. This is a true celebration of everything our staff and volunteers do, and it makes me so proud to be part of that team. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

We’ve been here 52 for years, and it’s important to celebrate our history. I look back and think about the people who made St Ann’s happen, like our founder Dr Moya Cole. I’m thankful for our pioneers, all of the people in this room and all of our all colleagues – we can set the direction for the future and help St Ann’s to thrive for another 52 years.

Rachel McMillan, Chief Executive

It’s humbling to see everyone here today and hear about the fantastic contributions to the hospice. I’m here on behalf of the Board of Trustees. It was extremely difficult to decide who the awards should go to; the contributions throughout have been phenomenal. On behalf of board, we want to thank you all for your major contribution to the hospice; we couldn’t do it without you. By working together, we achieve really great things.

Jackie Oldham, Chair of the Board of Trustees

And the winners are…

Jackie Oldham, Chair of the Board of Trustees, awarded the following staff members and teams with the Chair Awards for their amazing achievements and exemplifying the Values of St Ann’s Hospice in their work every day.

People matter

  • This award recognises an individual who consistently puts people at the centre of everything they do. They treat everyone with kindness and compassion, they value and celebrate diversity; recognising everyone as an individual.

Lisa Wong, Lymphoedema Assistant Practitioner

Deborah Connolly, Housekeeping (Heald Green)

Lead and learn

  • This award recognises someone who is always learning to inform and shape the hospice or hospice sector. This might be through education, training or research. They lead by example, share best practice, making advances and pioneering new approaches.

Rebecca Sarbutts, Data Protection Officer and Data Systems Manager

Dr Lesley Henson and Kath Lamb – Quality Improvement project

Bold and brave

  • The winner of this award recognises the need to grow for the future, not settle. They’re not afraid to do things differently, get creative, challenge themselves and the status quo. They’re ambitious in their aims, accountable for their actions and learn from their experiences and successes.

Gayle Shaw, Corporate Fundraiser

Together we are stronger

  • This award is for an individual or collection of individuals who work collaboratively with supporters, partners or the community. They have a bigger impact working together than they could do alone. They think beyond traditional boundaries to make sure we’re here for our communities in years to come.

The Trading Company – Events organisation

Inpatient Unit Ward Sisters Lynsey Ayers, Hayley Beswick, Jen Andrusjak, Suzy Vale and Nic Erhardt

Volunteer Special Recognition Award

  • This award recognises and celebrates the outstanding contribution volunteers make to the hospice. Every day volunteers help us achieve our purpose of providing excellent care. This award is one of the ways we recognise volunteers who go above and beyond to create even better services.

Jenny Caunt, volunteer in the Practice Development Centre


Long service awards – Staff

30 years

Diane Smallman, Little Hulton Inpatient Unit

20 years

Lesley Jackson, Clinical Services Administration (HG)

10 years

Joanne Laidlaw, Hospice at Home
Donna Riva Burdaky, LH Housekeeping
Rachel Billson, Clinical Specialist Palliative Care Team
Gill Turnpenney , Executive Office

Long service awards – Volunteers

40 years

Ann Farthing

35 years

Gill Lyon and Fran Nelson

25 years

Margaret Tait

20 years

Marion Ball, Christine Da Forno and Anne McFarlane

15 years

Alan Bowker, Sylvia Grant, Anne Hannah, Ian Hayes, Beryl Hilton, Sandra Kirk, Pamela Lilker, Barbara Mellish, Rebekah Mottershead, Nicola Norris, Catherine Stephenson, Sue Sutton

10 years

Gail Abedi, Christine Barlow, Alison Bettles, Clive Douglas Bettles, Susan Conlon, Ann Cox, Janet Ellis, Jill Fitzgerald, Breda Johnson, Lorraine Livesey, Steve Lloyd, Patricia Anne Lockey, Joe Madden, Nuala McNorton, Jackie Rogers, Pat Rudge, Peter Charles Sant, Ruth Satinoff, Jennifer Vaughan, Gwyneth Viney, Mike Viney, Gaynor Whiteside, Valerie Wilson, Pamela Wolstenholme

5 years

Frances Ansell, Judith Anthony, Jennifer Armshaw, Mariam Azhar, Lynne Barratt, Maria Bartley, Paul Bate, Lucy Blackburn, Jean Coles, Mary Connery, Beth Crowcroft, Ryan Darcy, Catherine Davies, Lea Anne Done-Jackson, Nicola Done-Orrell, Donna Eastwood, Brenda Entwistle, Yvonne Fitzgerald, Marjorie Fletcher, Peter Frank, Robert Gregg, Tina Hamby, Joan Hargreaves, Joyce Lynda Lawrence, Shelagh Lochery, Jeffrey Longson, John Moss, Pamela Mottershead, Barbara Murray, Jamie Murray, Melanie Oliver, Elaine Pratt, Caroline Pressman, Christine Reed, Eileen Richards, Gwyneth Roper, Jeanette Sayle, Marilyn Snell, Susan Margaret Thomas, Chloe Tsang, Frances Walker, Irene Wilczynska

Our Autumn Fair will raise money for the new hospice

We are hosting an Autumn Fair on Saturday 30th September to raise money for our Build It Together campaign.

Bring along your friends and family to St Ann’s Hospice’s Heald Green site between 12-3pm for all the fun of the fair!

Organised by our volunteer committee on behalf of St Ann’s, the Autumn Fair is helping to raise vital funds towards our Build It Together new hospice appeal.

We’ve all laughed so much on the committee as the weeks have gone by and made a great team. Everyone has been so accommodating and each person seems to have certain things they bring to the table.

Lisa Cartlitch, Volunteer Treasurer

The fair will be a family fun afternoon with stalls, plants, refreshments and licensed bar, games and bouncy castle and fire brigade.

Tracey Yarwood is the Secretary of the committee and has been volunteering for six years at the hospice.

I’ve really enjoyed helping at the previous summer and Christmas fairs, so I was excited to be working with the other volunteers on this fair. I enjoy being part of a team on the committee that’s going to raise money to help the hospice’s new build. We hope this fair will be a great success and we can start planning our next one!

Tracey Yarwood, Volunteer Secretary

Another volunteer on the committee, Dushyant Mehta, speaks highly of St Ann’s, which is a charity close to his heart.

I have been a volunteer for St Ann’s Hospice for more than 12 years. The connection I have with the hospice grew much stronger since the last two years when my wife was at Heald Green for end-of-life care. Over that period, I found along with my family that the care and support of the staff was extraordinary, they have treated my family and myself as one family which I’ll never forget and continue to do so even now. I enjoy being on the committee as everyone is like-minded who are focussed on the project ahead of them. I’m glad I am able to give back and help St Ann’s Hospice raise as much money as they can for the welfare and care of all its patients.

Dushyant Mehta, Committee Volunteer

Entry to the Autumn Fair is free, so bring as many of your friends and family along to see what’s on offer!

Volunteers’ Week 2023

Volunteers’ Week runs 1st-7th June, and this annual celebration is a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities.

St Ann’s Hospice would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing volunteers who support us in so many ways. We simply could not continue to provide our care without their help and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of them for their support.

We’re shining a spotlight on just a few of our team of incredible volunteers to celebrate them this Volunteers’ Week.

My favourite thing about volunteering is seeing the variety of items people donate – it’s really interesting. I would recommend volunteering at St Ann’s to anyone, and I have done! My husband is going to start at the shop as well.

Sheena, Volunteer, Distribution Centre

At the time I signed up I was suffering from chronic fatigue and needed purpose. I wanted to give something back to the community.

Tracey, Volunteer, Distribution Centre

Read Sheena & Tracey’s story here.

I volunteer to help the hospice and also increase my knowledge and learn about eBay, so it’s two-fold. I would really recommend volunteering to meet people. It’s better than staying in! Plus you get the knowledge and new skills – you might become an eBay millionaire through learning at St Ann’s!

Jeff, Volunteer, Online Sales Team

Read Jeff’s story here.

Early retirement has given me the time and opportunity to volunteer, including supporting the Fundraising Team in their ongoing Build It Together campaign, as well as being a volunteer driver for the Being You Centre. I hope that supportive role can further evolve as building works for the new hospice begin, allowing me to share in the St Ann’s journey at this most exciting time.

Graham, Volunteer

Read Graham’s story here.

I needed to do something moving forward and decided to give back to St Ann’s after they cared for my mum. I’d never worked in a shop before, but I like meeting people, talking to them and having a joke with them. I get on with the team and get a real reward out of doing it.

Ian, Volunteer, Sale shop

Could you volunteer at St Ann’s?

You’ll be challenged, inspired, and empowered to help us achieve our purpose and to play your part in making a difference.

We’re currently looking for volunteers across the organisation in our shops, Online Sales Team, Fundraising Team and in our hospices. Find out more here.

Volunteering at St Ann’s

Find out more information about all of our current volunteering opportunities.

Find out more

Get a taste of volunteering at St Ann’s Hospice shops

As part of The Big Help Out, a national initiative to raise awareness of and provide opportunities for volunteering, St Ann’s Hospice is offering volunteer taster sessions for anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering at our charity shops.

The taster sessions will take place every Thursday until 8th June across six of our charity shops in Heald Green, Stockport, Edgeley, Sale, Altrincham and Little Hulton. All the sessions are two hours, either from 10am-12pm or 2-4pm.

This is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills, all whilst doing your bit to support St Ann’s Hospice.

We are really pleased to be part of The Big Help Out and offer taster sessions for volunteers in our St Ann’s Hospice charity shops. Our shops raise thousands of pounds for St Ann’s Hospice every year and we couldn’t continue to do this without the work and commitment of our shop volunteers. Volunteering in our shops is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills, while making a valuable contribution to St Ann’s. The volunteer taster sessions provide an opportunity for anyone curious about volunteering to meet the shop teams and find out more about how our volunteers help, from sorting donated items and preparing them for sale to creating exciting window displays.

Trudi Ogden, Co-Head of Trading, St Ann’s Hospice

Ian Stewart, a volunteer at the St Ann’s Hospice shop in Sale, has been volunteering for six years since he retired in 2017.

I needed to do something moving forward and decided to give back to St Ann’s after they cared for my mum. I’d never worked in a shop before, but I like meeting people, talking to them and having a joke with them. I get on with the team and get a real reward out of doing it.

Ian Stewart, Volunteer, St Ann’s Hospice

Volunteers have been joining the taster sessions since The Big Help Out was launched on 8th May as part of the Coronation weekend. The Big Help Out estimate that 6,510,000 million people participated in 55,123 events across the country, and hope that it will encourage further volunteer participation in local communities.

There are opportunities to become a permanent volunteer if you enjoy your taster session, with St Ann’s Hospice always looking for people to join our friendly teams across Greater Manchester.

To book a session or find out more details, you can download The Big Help Out app via the App Store, or alternatively visit the website at app.thebighelpout.com.

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2022

So many people across Greater Manchester selflessly give their time to help others.  I’m proud to be part of a community – and city – that has so many individuals who are passionate about making a difference.  

This week, as the UK marks Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June), I’d like to thank and celebrate the hundreds of volunteers who support St Ann’s Hospice.   

We have more than 600 volunteers who share their expertise, time and skills, supporting us in so many different ways.  

From our hospice shops and fundraising events and activities, to running our cafés and supporting clinical staff on our wards, we’ve benefitted from the generosity of volunteers for so many years. 

They give many thousands of hours between them each year, and some have been volunteering for an incredible 50 years or more.  We simply couldn’t carry on providing our specialist palliative and end of life care without their support.   

We’re hugely grateful and I’d like to say a big thank you to each and every one of them. I’d also like to thank all of the other people across our fantastic city who selflessly volunteer their time to help others too.  

You’re all amazing.  Thank you. 

Calling for shop volunteers

We’re asking local people to consider donating just a few hours of their time each week to help our shop staff raise vital funds to support local patients. 

We receive around a third of its funding from the NHS, so we rely on income from donations and our trading company to carry on our work. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many of our fundraising events and activities being postponed or cancelled, which has meant raising funds through their shops is even more important than ever to ensure we can carry on providing our specialist care. 

The hospice’s ability to fundraise has been hugely impacted by the pandemic and our shops are doing really well as local hubs for people in the community to buy new or preloved goods in a safe environment. 

However, we’re in real need of volunteers who can help our dedicated teams in a variety of ways. We’d love to hear from anyone who might be willing to help by giving a few hours of their time each week at any of our store locations – but particularly in Sale, Altrincham, and Edgeley. 

Our online sales team and staff at our distribution centre in Reddish are also looking for support from people who could help with photography, posting and packing, and sorting goods for our shops too. 

The role of a charity shop volunteer has really changed in recent years, and we see people of all ages who really benefit from the experience.  We need help with everything from window displays and merchandising, to serving customers, organising stock, and lots more in between.  There’s something to suit everyone’s needs, so please do get in touch if you might be able to help.

Ryan Perkins, Trading Company

Volunteer at our shops!

We’re always looking for new volunteers to help out at our many shops. Anyone interested in supporting the hospice can call 0161 477 7839 from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, or pop into your local St Ann’s Hospice shop and ask for details or click the link below.

Click here

Volunteer with St Ann’s!

Following a huge increase in customer numbers after the easing of lockdown restrictions, we’re putting out an urgent appeal for volunteers to support staff in our online sales team and shops across Greater Manchester. 

St Ann’s is asking local people to consider donating just a few hours of their time each week to help shop staff raise vital funds to support local patients. 

Amanda Brooks, Head of the St Ann’s Trading Company, said: “It’s fantastic that customers are embracing their new freedoms by coming to purchase new and pre-loved goods at our covid-safe shops.   

“As a result of the fabulous increase in footfall, it’s vital we recruit more volunteers as soon as possible to support our team.  There’s such a wide range of volunteering roles available, and we’re hoping there’s something that will appeal to everyone.   

“We need help with everything from window displays and merchandising to serving customers, steaming clothes and organising books.  We’re also keen to hear from anyone who might be able to assist with weekend support in our new bridal boutique in Stockport. 

“Our online sales team and staff at our distribution centre in Reddish are also looking for support from people who could help with photography, posting and packing, and sorting goods for our shops too.” 

Our shops generate thousands of pounds worth of income every year for St Ann’s – income which enables our hospices to continue to provide care to local patients with cancer and other life- limiting illnesses. 

Amanda added: “The role of a charity shop volunteer has really changed in recent years, and we see people of all ages who come to us and really benefit from, and enjoy, the experience.    

“St Ann’s has to raise around £20,000 every day to keep the doors open, and we simply couldn’t do it without our army of loyal volunteers.  We have people who support us for a variety of reasons, some are job seekers looking to build their CV, others are retired people who are looking for a new challenge, and we also work with students who are helping broaden their skillset too.    

“We give full training and support, and we’d be keen to hear from anyone aged 16 and over who thinks they might be able to help out – even for a few hours a week.  Every small contribution makes a huge difference to our patients.”   

Anyone interested in supporting our hospice can call 0161 477 7839 from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, pop into their local hospice shop and ask for details or fill in a form online.  

Volunteer with St Ann’s!

Become a volunteer today and help make a difference to your local hospice today.

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