Shirley’s story

“I’ve met so many people that I can now call friends. I love volunteering!”

When Shirley Foster took early retirement from her job in the retail sector, there was one thing she was adamant about – she wanted to carry on doing something!

“I love meeting people and I didn’t want to lose that sociable contact from my life when I retired,” said Shirley.

“When a new St Giles shop opened in Ashby-de-la-Zouch eight years ago it was perfect timing for me. I popped in one day to see if I could help and within weeks I was working on the shop floor!

“I volunteer for a morning each week now, as I look after my grandson for a couple of days, but in the early days I did more.

“It’s such a lovely store and we work as a team to keep it looking its best. We’re given a lot of free rein in terms of what needs to be done and we’re encouraged to come up with our own ideas for improving things, which I really appreciate. Everyone is so helpful – and I must give the lovely delivery men a special mention!”

Shirley says she can often be found out on the shop floor interacting with families. “I love children and so when they come into the shop I enjoy having a chat with them,” she added. “In fact, I love chatting to everyone as it keeps me in touch with my local community and with people that I’ve known for years, and that’s really important to me.

“If you’re reading this and thinking about volunteering at St Giles I’d say just go and see what it’s all about. I did, and I’ve met so many people that I can now call friends. St Giles can call me any time and if I’m free, then I’m there – I love volunteering!”

If you’ve been inspired by Shirley’s story and would like to know more about volunteering at St Giles, you can book onto a volunteer open session here. Plus, you can reach the team on 01543 434546 or email volunteer@stgileshospice.com.