Sam started with Sue Ryder's shop team on Bath Road, Cheltenham, aged just 14, as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award. He is a bright academic young man with so much to offer, and he is a true ambassador of Sue Ryder.
Sam was quite shy when he first started, but he has developed in confidence beyond measure. He is our regular assistant on the shop floor, helping out at the till area, focusing on customers and meeting their needs. He is brilliant at add-on sales, and no customer leaves the shop without a carrier bag and a smile. He has no qualms about expressing how important our shop is and that the money we raise supports our local hospice, Leckhampton Court.
Sam is a key volunteer because, despite his young age, he is not fazed by anything. He enjoys the challenge and the manic moments, and he always sees the sunny side, especially on a Saturday, when the queue is around the shop and the donations are pouring through the door.
In April 2014, we hosted a Fashion Show at Leckhampton Court Hospice. Sam was pivotal to the evening. He and his sister Beth organised the music to accompany the models strutting their stuff, and both agreed to model. Sam was really nervous on the evening, but still got on the stage, danced to You’re The One That I Want and other songs and enjoyed every second. The event raised £1,200.
His manager, Sarah, asked Sam to write in his own words what it's like working for Sue Ryder:
"I started working at Sue Ryder because of a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was trying to complete my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and the shop is relatively close to my house. I chose Sue Ryder over the multitude of charity shops on Bath Road because the charity has given a great amount to my family in the past so I wanted to give something back to them.
"Over 5 years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. When she went to Leckhampton Court Hospice, I found that it was really relaxed, friendly, and the atmosphere was brilliant. I realise that in order to maintain these amazing conditions, a lot of money is required in the upkeep of the hospice. That’s why I chose Sue Ryder, because I feel that l owe them so much, and I can also help others get the same excellent treatment which my grandmother received."
The shop team see Sam as a shining example of a young person today, and since nominating him in these awards, Sam has gained a paid assistant role at the shop.