In a characteristic display of community spirit and social engagement, employees from Hippo gathered on October 26th to volunteer at St Gemma’s Hospice charity warehouse. The experience left participants with newfound appreciation for the vital role volunteers play in sustaining charitable organisations.
Karen Craddock expressed her surprise at the limited number of permanent staff in the shop and warehouse. With only two full time members of staff, there is a significant reliance on the dedication of volunteers. Karen’s experience underscored the importance of contributing time to such causes – something Hippo offers all members of staff as a paid allocation of 2 volunteer days per year.
A key revelation from the day was the meticulous approach to handling donations. St Gemma’s Hospice are very discerning in what they sell, with a focus on maintaining high standards, even salvaging buttons from items to maximise value. The commitment to utilising platforms like eBay and Vinted for valuable items demonstrated a keen awareness of the worth of donated goods.
Emily Beal shared insights into the sophisticated operations at St Gemma’s, including the rotation of stock among different shops to minimise waste. The use of a coding system to track items and the steaming of clothes before they hit the shop floor showcased the organisation’s dedication to efficiency and quality.
Vicky Birtles was amazed by the scale of the operation, especially the strategic approach to selling items. The team st St Gemma’s extensively research the items that are donated and use a diverse range of sales channels, such as World of Books and eBay to maximise the revenue they can acquire.
Lucy Robinson, a returning volunteer, praised Hippo’s initiative to provide employees with two days a year for volunteering while also praising the professionalism and care demonstrated by St Gemma’s Hospice staff and volunteers. Robinson emphasised the warm welcome extended to corporate volunteers and recommended the experience to others considering a volunteering day.
The day at St Gemma’s Hospice was not just a corporate volunteering event; it was a testament to the collective power of individuals coming together to make a tangible and positive impact on their community. The stories and experiences shared by the volunteers underscore the invaluable role played by organisations like St Gemma’s and the importance of continued support from both individuals and corporations.