Gemma, shop manager

I have worked for Willow Wood since 2020. In my previous job, I was the Assistant Manager for Home Bargains. I was with the company for a total of 9 years and in a management role for 6 years.

Life in my shop is different every day! From volunteers to customers to the donations we get entering the door. My shop is like one big happy family, we have a great bunch of volunteers who always make each other laugh and give help and support if and when needed. We welcome back so many regular customers and lots of new ones too!

My Step Dad Mick was a patient at Willow Wood in 2019. We chose Willow Wood because Mick's brother Dave was a patient 4 years earlier. Mick was only in the hospice over night but the care that he received was amazing. He was made to be so comfortable and relaxed at this difficult time. The service we were given as a family in the hours after Mick had passed was amazing and we were so grateful to the team that morning. When Mick first became poorly, he joined Willow Wood for the day services where he received his first ever massage. He was so relaxed that he did not want to leave the chair he was sat in. My mum was so surprised to find it was actually a couples massage and she was treated to one too! We as a family could not thank the team at the Hospice enough for making Mick's final weeks so easy and relaxing.

There is not one single thing I could say I like about my job...because I love my job! My job is so different to my previous roles but I find working here so rewarding! I love being able to give back to the charity and meeting all the new volunteers. My group of volunteers work so well together and they always make new people feel so comfortable. Dressing windows and digging through donations for hidden treasures are definitely the most enjoyable part of my role.

I have attended so many of the great fundraising events at the Hospice and enjoy these so much with my Mum. We enjoy seeing the new shop items within the Hospice and always come away with a few things! As a keen knitter my Mum loves making things for the reception desk, including a bear she knitted with scrubs through the pandemic.

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