Volunteering; the best New Year’s resolution you will ever make!

In our latest volunteering blog, Tracey Le Gallez, Sue Ryder's Volunteer Business Partner for Retail & Corporate, discusses the importance of our dedicated volunteers across the charity, her first-hand experiences since her beginnings as a charity shop volunteer and how joining us as part of the team could be your New Year's resolution in 2020, to help give the greatest gift of all by giving to others. 

Tracey Le Gallez
Tracey Le Gallez | 'By giving to others, volunteers give such a powerful gift.'

Well the festivities are over and the Christmas decorations are carefully packed away for another year. We start to contemplate what’s gone before and how we will do things differently or better this year. It’s time to make our New Year’s resolutions and set goals for 2020.

Life is often busy and frantic, and it can be hard to find time to do all the things you want to do. Just thinking about doing some volunteering and I am already failing at the first hurdle. How will I find the time to fit it in? Volunteering is something you have to do every week, isn’t it?

I think volunteering is a bit like buying gym membership; the thought and intention are there, you may have even made the investment but the follow through is bit lacking! There is always something else to do...

At Sue Ryder, we rely on volunteers across the organisation to help us achieve our aim to be there when it matters. As well as working to support our palliative, neurological and bereavement services, thousands of dedicated Sue Ryder volunteers also work in our network of charity shops to keep much-needed donations and funds coming in.

Judy, one of out charity shop volunteers.
Christine, one of our charity shop volunteers.
Edith, one of our shop volunteers.
Keith, one of our cleaning volunteers.

Volunteers are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met

My role as volunteering business partner for retail affords me the enviable position to both witness and hear first-hand the most incredible stories about how and why people came to volunteer in a Sue Ryder charity shop. Volunteers are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met; their dedication and enthusiasm inspire me every day.

Most of our retail volunteers would describe the shop team as their extended family and for some, it may be their only family. They laugh, joke and cry with their fellow volunteers, help them grow and develop, build confidence and offer a friendly ear. Together they take pride in the activities they undertake on the till, sorting clothes, books and bric-a-brac shelves and making sure the window looks spot on.

Volunteers at our Bury  St. Edmunds charity shop
Volunteers at our Bury St. Edmunds charity shop.

All pulling together to provide more care to more people

Retail volunteers are like an army, they are our front line income generators, our community face and our backbone without them most of our shops would not open.

I can relate to everything they tell us as I first came to volunteering via a charity shop almost 35 years ago; it resonates as much now as it did then, I did and still do love it . There is always so much to do, loads of variety and the most wonderful people all pulling together to provide more care to more people. I remember laughing so much it made my jaw ache.

By giving to others, volunteers give such a powerful gift. If you would like to try volunteering in your local Sue Ryder shop, please pop in and ask about doing a taster session. You can also email volunteers@sueryder.org or visit our volunteer vacancies page.

Tracey Le Gallez

Volunteer Business Partner for Retail & Corporate

Tracey Le Gallez