OPOTIKI Hospice Shop staff and volunteers Sheryl Waters (casual day manager), Adrienne Smith, Jill Theobald (day manager), Gabrielle Jenner, Janette Skudder and Jeanette Baker are already planning a big fifth birthday next month. Photo supplied

MAY 20 will be a big day for Opotiki’s Hospice Shop as it celebrates its fifth birthday.

“We have had five years of generosity from the community – their donations of goods, the time from our volunteers and the regular customers, it has been fantastic,” shop manager Jill Theobald said.

“This cycle of giving has helped Opotiki to raise funds for hospice, so they can care for this community when they need it most.

“I love how the shop also creates a great fellowship and working environment for our volunteers too.”

Hospice chief executive Peter Bassett said the Opotiki shop was a great little store with a surprising range of quality pre-loved goods and a friendly volunteer team.

“The Opotiki shop is serving hospice and its community in a number of ways – it provides a face in Opotiki, giving awareness. It creates an easy way for the Opotiki community to support hospice with their goods, time or custom, and it gives the Opotiki community a
great shop where they can buy quality second hand items”.

The shop runs with Mrs Theobald as the day manager and Sheryl Waters doing relief work when needed. All other contributors are volunteers.

“Over 120 hours of volunteer time are donated per month to the Opotiki shop, with so many skills brought in by our incredible team,” Mr Bassett said.

Mrs Waters has found that giving her time to the hospice shop has given back to her too.

“Last year our family benefited from the care from hospice, so I’ll remain a staunch supporter and volunteer my time. I really enjoy working in the shop with the comradeship of Jill and the volunteers.”

Anne Grierson, who joined the team in 2016 also shared what the shop meant to her. “I feel when I come in to the hospice shop in Opotiki that Jill and the other volunteers are like a happy family,
working for a great cause and supporting one another.”

Mrs Theobald said the shop had a fantastic team already but always had room for new volunteers.

“Just pop into the shop if you’re interested – it’s a great way to meet people while giving back to the community, and when you’re on the shop floor you also spot all sorts of goodies coming in.”

All funds raised by the shop stay within the Eastern Bay and support hospice’s end of life care.

Hospice EBoP has a clinical team that goes into people’s homes and provide support, information, equipment, referrals and pain relief to make sure it’s easy for patients to live every moment the best they can, and in whatever way is most important to them.

Details about the five-year celebration evening will be announced in the coming weeks, and the plans will tie in with Hospice Awareness week which runs 12-19 May.