Rowcroft sends out jobs SOS for shop volunteers

Head of charity worker

Caroline Wannell - Credit: Submitted

Rowcroft Hospice has added its weight to the Your Bay Needs You jobs campaign as it struggles with a shortage of volunteers for its retail shops throughout South Devon.

Workforce shortages hit Torbay and South Devon at the height of the summer season when some hospitality businesses including restaurants and cafes were faced with a staffing crisis.

But local businesses and organisations are still struggling especially the smallest businesses and charities as they approach the busiest time of year.

Caroline Wannell, Head of Retail for Rowcroft Hospice, said: "I think the issues in Torbay are reflective of the general labour shortages in the country, but in the charity sector where we rely on volunteers to help us out of the goodness of their hearts, we’re feeling the crunch even more.

"Our volunteers are crucial for the smooth running of our teams across our hospice, and in our shops and cafes that raise vital income for patient care. We’ve faced endless challenges caused by the pandemic including self-isolation and anxiety caused by COVID, and these have all exacerbated the workforce shortage situation. 

“Our 14 Rowcroft Hospice shops and cafes in the Torbay and the South Devon region rely heavily on our teams of dedicated volunteers. While we are so grateful for everything our volunteers do in helping to raise vital funds to care for local people with life-limiting illnesses, many of our shops and cafes are in desperate need of more help, particularly now in the busy run-up to Christmas when our retail trading accounts for such a large proportion of our annual income.

“We’re eagerly seeking people with some spare time over the coming months who would like to lend a hand by volunteering in our local shops or cafes, helping us to raise crucial funds for the hospice. If you’re interested, then please do pop in for an informal chat.”

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Rowcroft’s shops across the region sell a wide selection of high quality sustainable pre-loved goods, all recycled from the generous donations of the local community. 

For more information about Rowcroft’s shops and cafes, see: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/shops or call 01803 210800. If you are interested in volunteering with Rowcroft, email volunteering@rowcrofthospice.org.uk to request an application form, or call 01803 210852.

[Images attached: Volunteer image; pre-loved gifts available at Rowcroft Hospice; Caroline Wannell