We have made so many friends who have volunteered in our shops over the years and over at our Leighton Buzzard store we recently had to say goodbye to one of the best – Darren.

After suffering from a stroke in January 2022, Darren had lost a lot of confidence in himself. His ongoing balance and mobility issues meant that he was unable to re-enter the world of work, but fortunately for us, Darren made the amazing decisions to volunteer for Willen Hospice in our Leighton Buzzard shop.

Darren was drawn to volunteer for Willen Hospice as his wife had passed away in a hospice on the Isle of Wight. He knew first hand the vital work that hospices do, and the support they offer.

Belinda, manager in Leighton Buzzard, said of Darren “He was very unsure how he could help us or if he could, but we quickly identified he could do short shifts sitting on the till. He’s a quick learner and great sales man; as he did extra shifts, his confidence grew.” Darren would bring in fresh flowers for the shop every shift to show his gratitude for the support he was given.

Recently Darren decided it was time to live independently back home in the Isle of Wight, but not before presenting our Belinda with a beautiful bouquet and card which read:

“Thanks for giving me a chance. You really don’t know how much you have helped me, I’m a new man”

He tells us he re-connected with old friends straight away and within a week began volunteering at his local charity shop. All the best, Darren, we’ll miss you.

We know times are tough, but we urgently need more volunteers perhaps you could spare a few hours a week?

Find our more about volunteering here