Selfless pensioner enjoys giving up time for others

HERE TO HELP Helen Crichton at the Rowans Hospice shop in Fratton Road. Picture: Sarah Standing (131528-7575)
HERE TO HELP Helen Crichton at the Rowans Hospice shop in Fratton Road. Picture: Sarah Standing (131528-7575)

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SHE’S 84 – but that doesn’t stop Helen Crichton giving up her time for a worthy cause.

Helen has spent nearly 10 years being a volunteer at the Rowans Hospice Shop, in Fratton, Portsmouth.

Her main duties are sorting out the stock in the back room and keeping tabs on what needs to be ordered in.

She spends 16 to 20 hours a week in the Fratton Road store and loves every minute of it.

Helen, who lives in Southsea, said: ‘Money doesn’t bother me at all.

‘I enjoy the company and enjoy getting out and doing things.

‘It keeps you active.’

Helen was formerly a volunteer at a cancer charity shop in Palmerston Road, Southsea.

‘This started years ago,’ she said.

‘I had some spare time and it went from there.’

The shop is made up of 30 volunteers and the time they give varies.

Manager Andrew Cordery said he was extremely grateful for all the work his staff do.

‘Having volunteers is absolutely vital,’ he said.

‘You couldn’t operate without volunteers.

‘It would cost so much money and there is a lot to do – things like pricing and putting out stock.

‘I am very grateful of our volunteers. Helen works very hard. She is a focused person.’

Hayley Hamlett, volunteer services manager for The Rowans Hospice Trading Company, said: ‘I feel really proud of everything our volunteers achieve, Trading Company or hospice volunteers.

‘They give us so much time, enthusiasm, ideas and strength to support the funding of the services we offer and to cover new and exciting projects.

‘We cherish the contribution of all our volunteers. They help enrich both the patient experience and hospice culture and also enable us to spend more on patient care.’