Why I Volunteer at the Princess Alice Hospice Shop – Natalie Wiltshire-Grundy

Natalie Wiltshire-Grundy: Shop Volunteer and now Sales Assistant

Natalie has always been aware of the Hospice’s role in the community but when her local shop moved to bigger premises, she says: “It looked so beautiful. I’d always been interested in volunteering and I fancied working there.” As both a volunteer and now a staff member at the shop, she’s a proud part of a team that ensures the shop is always looking its best: “If there’s even a hanger hanging the wrong way round, we’re on to it!”

Natalie Volunteer Princess Alice Hospice Charity Shop Weybridge
Now in her early 40s, Natalie spent 20 years commuting into the City, before stopping work to spend time with her younger son before he started school.

She began volunteering at the shop in 2016, for one morning each week, while also managing her own freelance legal pa company. “My career has been very office based,” she explains, “so I’ve loved being out and about with the public. I’m a sociable person and this gives me my ‘fix’!”

Princess Alice Hospice
As a volunteer, Natalie worked on the till, as well as keeping the displays looking good and sorting through the jewellery and bric-a-brac. A favourite part of the role for Natalie is talking with the customers, donors and fellow volunteers and staff in the shop.

“There are volunteers who’ve been here for 20 years,” she says. “It’s amazing how they’ve dedicated their time to the charity, and they are such lovely people.”

Many of the customers have personal connections with the Hospice and hearing their stories and how highly they value the Hospice’s services clearly motivates Natalie. “The more positive feedback you hear from them,” she says, “the more proud I feel working for the Hospice.”

Natalie Volunteer Princess Alice Hospice Charity Shop Weybridge
Natalie Volunteer Princess Alice Hospice Charity Shop Weybridge
Recently Natalie chose to take on a part-time employed role as a Sales Assistant, working three days per week.

She explains: “With my freelance business I could work my own hours but I was actually looking for more routine. I’d been made to feel so incredibly welcome as a volunteer and it’s such a lovely shop, so when the vacancy came up, I didn’t want the opportunity to pass me by.”

One of her main responsibilities is to take in and sort through all the very many donations they receive.

“That can be a little overwhelming sometimes but we receive some amazing items,” she says. “We make sure we’ve always got beautiful things on display – we have themed displays, for example for the royal wedding and Father’s Day – and that the shop is kept neat and tidy.”

It’s clear that Natalie loves working at the shop – so much so that she’s persuaded several of her friends to start volunteering there too. “I feel very lucky to work here with such an amazing team” she says.
Natalie Volunteer Princess Alice Hospice Charity Shop Weybridge