Hospice Shop volunteers Liz Wishart, Rosey Wellbrock, Nolene Eastwood, Brian Stewart, manager Shona Bohm, Colleen Lysaght, and Marian Evers donating some goods. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND

Emily Ireland

Last financial year, the Hospice Wairarapa Shop brought in more than $300,000 to help fund the care of terminally-ill people in the region.

The Hospice Shop is the main funding stream for the charity, and Hospice Wairarapa manager Suzie Adamson said the shop was “pivotal to raising income so that we can provide all of our services free of charge”.

“We are so grateful when people donate their good quality items to the shop – it means we are able to turn second-hand goods into first-class care.”

She said Hospice Wairarapa was fortunate to have a “huge team of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the quality of our shop – and they in turn are wonderfully supported and trained by our retail management team”.

Shop manager Shona Bohm has worked at the Hospice Shop for the past six months and says she loves coming to work – “and that’s a neat feeling”.

“I’m having a lot of fun and I love working with the people here,” she said.

“In a working career, it’s not often that you get to work among volunteers.

“People that volunteer, they bring their hearts to work – I love that.”

Second-in-charge is Rosemary Hill who has worked at the Hospice Shop since November 2013 – “when we first started the shop”.

She said she started volunteering back then because she had just finished work at that stage and wanted to help people.

Now she is employed part-time and oversees the shop operations.

Brian Stewart has volunteered at Hospice Wairarapa for eight years now – he started with the Hospice Wairarapa garage sale which takes place every Saturday morning from 9am until 11am at the Renall St premises.

“It’s a good way of giving back to the community.

“I volunteer about 50 hours a month – I just pop in every now and then.”

He said it was great to be part of a team that generated the “much-needed funds required to keep the hospice going”.

Volunteers Rosey Wellbrock and Nolene Eastwood also love their jobs at the shop.

It’s coming up five years for Nolene, and just over a year for her friend Rosey.

Generally, they volunteer every Tuesday morning.

“It’s been so much more fun with Rosey here because we know each other as golfers,” Nolene said.

“Hospice is an important organisation – we all know someone who has been faced with a terminal illness.”

Shona said winter had “slowed down our donations” and said donations of surplus goods were welcome.

“If you have surplus goods, or you are moving to a new house, or tidying up, think of us.”

Supporting Hospice Wairarapa

Since launching the Wairarapa Midweek Hospice Wairarapa series on May 8, community feedback has been “wide and positive, with many saying they had been surprised by how much Hospice offers”, according to Hospice Wairarapa manager Suzie Adamson.

“We had one lady who came in after the first story was published clutching the entire Midweek page saying her neighbour had given it to her and she was calling in to seek help because no one else had offered her anything at all like the hospice services.

“She couldn’t believe they were free.

“And that’s been the greatest gift from these 10 articles – the community reach has been unbelievable, and it has shown the community at large why their support is so necessary to keep these services growing to meet the rising need, as well as to keep them free of charge.

“The other wonderful result of these articles is that it has got our community talking about death and dying and the need for us all to live every moment and remember what is important.

“We are truly grateful to the people that have joined our Giving for Living programme signing up to make regular donations because of these articles.”

This is the last of a 10-part Midweek series bringing awareness to the community about Hospice Wairarapa in an effort to increase support for the charity.