Thorpe Hall volunteer call out

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall

While everyone else is struggling to stick to their New Year’s resolutions, now is the perfect time to set yourself one to make this year better for you – and for others.

Keep fit and ditch the chocolate resolutions so easily become passing fads but turning your hand to something that feels worthwhile can be the perfect way to keep you on track. Becoming a charity volunteer certainly gave Margaret Jones the focus she needed when the going got tough.

"Coming here filled a gap in my life"

A year after her husband died, Margaret had started to dread the long, lonely weekends. It was during Thorpe Hall Hospice’s summer fete that Margaret dropped into the hospice’s shop on a whim.

“Patrick and I did everything together. After he died my life changed completely... I didn’t even think about what I was doing,” said Margaret, “I went in and asked if they had any work I could do. Walking home I wondered what on earth I had done.”

But Margaret, who worked as a nurse before retiring, returned later that week and before she left had signed up as a volunteer in the shop. She now gets involved in every aspect of working in the shop – from merchandising to serving customers and sorting through donated stock.

“It’s funny how the shop feels like a home from home,” said Margaret, who volunteers four days a week. “Coming here filled a gap in my life which I didn’t realise was there. When I wake up I have something to look forward to. I’ve met so many lovely people and even made friends.”

Join our volunteer force

Margaret is one of around 300 volunteers at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. People volunteer for many different reasons: to fill a gap, to make new friends, to gain in confidence or to feel worthwhile. Others find it the perfect stepping stone to getting back into work after a period of absence, a useful addition to their CV or a way of brushing up skills.  

The team at Thorpe Hall work with new volunteers to identify how best they can use their skills to get involved. To find out more please email