Willow Wood couldn’t exist without our wonderful team of over 650 volunteers. One of the largest groups of volunteers is definitely in the retail division – around 230 volunteers who help to sort, steam, press, price, label, stock the shelves and work on the tills. With their help our shops bring in a large percentage of the £2.3million needed to maintain our care.

One committed member of this incredible team is Donna, who works at our Waterloo shop.  Here Donna tells why she volunteers for Willow Wood.

“I’ve been doing voluntary work since I was 14 years old. I’ve always loved giving my time to help in various ways for different organizations. I’ve worked in Education for 23 years and left last year. When I heard that the Ashton Waterloo shop was asking for volunteers I went with my friend to see if I could help in any way.

“I love working at the shop dealing with the customers getting to know the regulars. I work in the shop and the cafe. The atmosphere in the shop is excellent. We all have good working relationships and enjoy one another’s company. From sorting the shelves to making cappuccinos it’s a varied day when you are in the shop at Waterloo. “Do you want a brew?” shouts Janet as we start our shift. “Have you had a nice weekend?” another volunteer asks.

“We are all working for one thing to promote the amazing work that Willow Wood does.

My gorgeous friend sadly died in the hospice; I’m doing the voluntary work for her too.

“I look forward to volunteering with a huge smile on my face because I know my little bit is a tiny piece of the jigsaw that makes Willow Wood. If someone said ‘what do you get out of volunteering’ I would say a feeling of achievement, lots of laughs and smiles, friendships and a massive bag of satisfaction.”

Although Donna works at the Waterloo shop, the camaraderie and commitment is the same at all of our eight shops.

If you could see yourself helping us in this way call into your local shop, download a Volunteer Application Form from our website or ring volunteer manager Mandy on 0161 330 1100 – we’d love to hear from you, and we’re sure you’ll love being part of Team Willow Wood.