Dedicated volunteer close to 25k lottery ticket mark at King's Lynn charity shop
A committed volunteer has sold nearly 25,000 lottery tickets at a Lynn charity shop with proceeds going towards specialist palliative care.
Outwell resident Mave Pett volunteers six days a week at the Sue Ryder shop on St. Nicholas Retail Park which reopened to customers on July 28.
Mave and other volunteers were visited by deputy lieutenant of Norfolk, Melinda Raker, on Wednesday as a way of saying thanks to the commitment shown.
The deputy lieutenant said: “I was delighted to be asked to find out more about Sue Ryder. I am absolutely amazed by what they do, particularly interest in support for those with neurological problems and palliative care.
“Clearly, the retail element is important and it is great to see it up and running again. It is also good to see how much volunteers contribute to a charity like this.”
A total of 24,792 lottery tickets have been sold by Mave during her three years with Sue Ryder.
The first prize for the lottery winner is £1,000 with funds raised going towards the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House.
Mave said: “I love what I do here and I love the people as well. I help on the till, as well as with the displays in the front. You could say I am a Jack of all trades!”
Regarding the coronavirus, she added:”It’s been a bit scary but I keep my distance, hold on and hope for the best. Everyone is in the same boat.”
Not everyone has been as confident as Mave at this challenging time however with 40 per cent of volunteers opting not to return at this time due to the pandemic.
Many of these people are shielding and are in the vulnerable category so staff at the store have appealed for more volunteers to offer their support.
Glynn Taylor, retail regional manager for Sue Ryder, said: “We are very mindful of people and staff. There are 10,000 volunteers across retail and we are 40 per cent down. This has a considerable impact on the amount of hours we can trade.”
Fellow regional manager Jo Panks said Sue Ryder hopes to have most of its shops open by the end of September. This includes the Norfolk Street store with September 14 earmarked as a reopening date.
The St. Nicholas Retail Park store currently has a limit of 25 customers in the store at one time.
All the items being sold in the shop are quarantined for 48 hours to ensure there is no chance of Covid-19 lingering on them.
Mrs Panks said: “All the customers are so happy and desperate to shop with us again. I think charity shop addict should be a new term!
“We have a really strong cleaning regime and the touch points are cleaned with sanitiser sprays. The shop floor sanitiser is replenished.”
Sue Ryder has limited donations to four bags or boxes at a time after staff and volunteers were overloaded with excessive amounts of goods during lockdown.
Mr Taylor said the shop has been full up to now with donations, which can be difficult to manage since they require 24 hours before being handled due to the coronavirus precautions.
He said: “I have to be careful with how I say this because clearly we want to accept donations and we are really grateful for them but we do have to manage the amount we get.
“When people can’t get into the tips and are queuing outside them, they bring their donations to the charity shop instead.”
Each person can bring four bags of donations a day, and that same person could bring a further four bags the following day and so on.
Volunteer Mave Pett added: “When people come in they can only bring four bags. People have been so generous.
“Some people have been leaving things outside which we have had to put up with. People do not seem to see the signs on the door telling them not to leave it outside.”