Hear from our shop volunteers

Our shop volunteers share their personal stories, how they got involved in volunteering and why they love being part of the Sue Ryder team.


Sue Ryder shop volunteer, Ged, on the shop floor

You know you’re giving something back and helping the community – that’s really important to me.

Ged, Sue Ryder shop volunteer

Ged previously trained as a Primary Teacher, and worked in schools for twenty four years, before retraining as a Careers Adviser. As he approaches his ten year anniversary at the Sue Ryder shop in Didsbury, he says that “the team here have always been very friendly, and the managers have been really supportive."

Ged decided he wanted to do some volunteering when he retired because he wanted to give something back to the community. He says: "I popped into the Sue Ryder shop, was invited in for a chat, and I started the next week!”

And after that initial chat, Ged hasn’t looked back. “The atmosphere is lovely and welcoming, and the customers are very nice as well. You build up a rapport with a lot of people, and a sense of familiarity. You know you’re giving something back and helping the community – that’s really important to me.”

Ged has also found that volunteering with Sue Ryder has been very beneficial for his mental health and wellbeing. “When I retired, I had a period of depression, and was still experiencing that when I started at Sue Ryder. But I thought it was important to carry on, and building up my confidence here has been so helpful. ”

“It’s a lovely place to work – I look forward to coming in every week.”

Volunteering quick apply form

Interested in volunteering with us? Complete our quick apply form and we'll get in touch!


Sue Ryder shop volunteer, Izzy, at her work desk

Izzy first heard about Sue Ryder when looking for somewhere to complete her voluntary placement for her Bronze Duke Of Edinburgh Award. She knew right away that it was the right fit for her. “I enjoy meeting new people, always feel welcome, and all the volunteers get on really well – everyone just loves coming in,” she says.

“I’m autistic and used to struggle a lot with socialising," Izzy explains. “When I started volunteering, I just stayed in the back, but after a while I began helping out on the till, which gave me much more confidence.”

Izzy told staff that she would be back when she had completed her Duke of Edinburgh Award and she did just that, returning to volunteer with Sue Ryder once more.

After finishing school, Izzy also found that Sue Ryder was an extremely welcoming environment for her when she was looking for a job. She started working with Sue Ryder as a member of Retail Bank Staff in 2021 and is still really enjoying being part of the team, supporting charity shops across London.

“I never used to travel around much, but now I get to go to different areas all the time,” she says. “It’s really enjoyable meeting new volunteers. It feels like being on holiday!”


Sue Ryder shop volunteer, Maureen

It's a fantastic, encouraging and rewarding experience. You're getting something from it too – the sense of supporting others is amazing.

Maureen, Sue Ryder shop volunteer

Maureen volunteers at Sue Ryder’s Scott Arms charity shop in Birmingham and has been with us since 2020.

Maureen also has a personal connection to Sue Ryder, having received support from our bereavement services after her dad sadly died.

“Sue Ryder is a cause very close to my heart.”

In mid-2020 she was made redundant from her job at a manufacturing company and decided to start her volunteering journey.

“I thought this is my ideal opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I popped into Sue Ryder, to see if I could volunteer. It was a ‘yes’, and it all started from there! There was no turning back after that.”

“I like the environment, because everyone is so friendly. It’s very supportive and welcoming. My day job now is as an accountant, which is mostly a desk job – but volunteering with Sue Ryder gives me the opportunity to meet different people from the local community. Customers talk to you, and you get to know their needs. It’s great for my wellbeing, and makes a nice change from working with numbers. You can make someone’s day just by saying ‘Hello, how are you!’”

So what would Maureen say to someone considering volunteering at Sue Ryder?

“I would say it’s a fantastic, encouraging and rewarding experience. You're getting something from it too – the sense of supporting others is amazing.”

“There are other charities around, but Sue Ryder is the one that best suits me, because it’s a real family unit. It can be one hour a week or ten hours – have a think about it, because it opens your eyes!”

A Sue Ryder shop volunteer putting clothes onto a rack on the shop floor
Types of shop volunteer roles
At Sue Ryder, we have lots of charity shop volunteer roles that you can help support us in. Across our 400+ shops, our volunteers play an integral part in our retail teams.
A Sue Ryder shop volunteer serving a customer at the till
Frequently asked questions about volunteering
We've answered some common questions below about volunteering with Sue Ryder.
A smiling Sue Ryder hospice volunteer
Our volunteer guidelines
Our ambition is that all volunteers feel appreciated, respected and proud to be part of the Sue Ryder team. Here, you can read about what we expect from you, and what you can expect from us.