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Volunteers Vital Lifeline to Mercy Hospice

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By Sammy Aubrey

Volunteer Awareness Week may be just around the corner, but Mercy Hospice Auckland already knows the value of its fantastic volunteers.

Julie Reid, Mercy Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, believes volunteers are fundamental to the running of their hospice shops.

“The real strength of our shops is our volunteers. Orientation and training is given to volunteers which gives a greater understanding of hospice services,” she says.

Mercy Hospice has seven hospice shops throughout Auckland City, selling a range of quality second-hand goods and attracting volunteers from all walks of life, from 81-year-old Bernice Malone to 16-year-old Waverley Taylor.

The shops have been vital in gaining a greater awareness and visibility of Mercy Hospice in each of their respective communities. Miss Taylor, a St Mary's College student, has been volunteering at the Mercy Hospice Ponsonby shop every Thursday afternoon for nearly four years now.

“This is something really different. I feel good about it because it’s not a job for money, it’s doing it for the benefit of other people,” she says.

Nicole Midgeley, who has a self confessed “black belt” in retail, has been a volunteer at the Ellerslie shop since it first opened its doors four years ago.

Mrs Midgeley helps out every Friday after Mercy Hospice provided care for her mother.

“For everything that you sell it goes directly to the Hospice which means that for me, psychologically, that money goes to another family that need the same service that I got.”

The theme for the 2011 Volunteer Awareness week is “Volunteering – every minute counts”.

Mrs Midgeley believes this year’s theme is spot on. ”Absolutely every minute counts.”

“For every minute that our doors are open we are able to further the cause.”

The Mercy Hospice Shops are extremely important in providing funding to the hospice, turning second hand goods into first class care and providing about half of all fundraising income.

The money raised helps to provide palliative care, and support to all of Mercy Hospice’s patients who have a life-limiting illness and their families.

2011 Volunteer Awareness Week will take place from 19th – 25 June.

Click here for more information on volunteering or click here for information about Mercy Hospice Shops

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