Donna is never far away from a book. A regular and long serving volunteer at the Mary Potter Hospice Shop in Thorndon, Donna is in charge of helping look after the donated books.
The inspiration to volunteer for the Hospice came while Donna was living in England. Near her home was a hospice shop which she enjoyed visiting.
“I got to know the ladies who ran it. They were fantastic people. There was always some friction or drama brewing between them which made life exciting.”
“I decided that when I returned to New Zealand I would like to volunteer.”
And that is what she did. In 2014, Donna became one of the original volunteers in the Thorndon Hospice shop.
“I was given responsibility for sorting, pricing and maintaining the book stock, which was marvellous. I have a fascination with books, which traverses all genres and eras, but I soon learned how little I really knew.”
“Many of our customers are experts when it comes to buying and selling books. They tell me whether something is overpriced, under-priced, or rare.”
Pricing books is a complex task, Donna says. She often weighs up how available the book is, the condition of the book and how popular it might be.
“We have no control over the stock. We cannot order as other retail shops do. To price, with some accuracy, one needs vast knowledge.”
“We may not have this individually, but collectively, as a team, we do. Access to the internet also helps.” The team at the shop have become like a family to Donna. Each person has particular skills they bring which help make the team hum, she says.
“We keep each other laughing and encouraged.”
“I am often reminded of the ladies at the shop in England – we are always discussing prices and sometimes disagreeing on things. It is always fun.”
Being part of the Mary Potter Hospice team was rewarding, Donna says.
“The Hospice is a great place to volunteer. You are giving back to an organisation which has given so much, to so many.”
Thank you to our amazing volunteers who work with our patients, families and whānau, keep our shops operating and support our staff behind the scenes. Your time, skills, experience, fundraising and passion supports Mary Potter Hospice to offer our valuable services free of charge.