On Thursday 5th April Megan spent her Day in the Life at our St Austell Homestyle and Clearance.
In my other blogs I have often mentioned the amazing commitment from Cornwall Hospice Care volunteers, who keep the cogs turning in the retail machine. This week’s Day in The Life opened my eyes to the sheer dedication from the Cornwall Hospice Care staff who work relentlessly, contending with all manner of jobs and challenges. This is not to discredit the volunteers at St Austell Homestyle who are just as hardworking and dedicated.
I make a start by browsing the shop and checking displays are tidy before the doors open to customers. Our new garden furniture range is now on display and looks really great (have you heard our advert about the range on Pirate FM yet?).
The day starts slowly and there is time to chat between jobs. During the morning natter I learn that Cathy, Steve T and Russell all started as volunteers and are now fully fledged employees.
It’s not long though before the pace picks ups – by 10.30am customers are donating, phoning and buying one after the other. This busyness keeps up for the rest of the day – donations start building up by the till point quicker than we can move them to the sorting room!
Since my last shop visit I have been sent a login for Cybertill! So I spend most of the day serving customers in between cleaning crockery that has been kindly donated, answering the phone to customers, accepting and labelling Gift Aided donations, signing someone up for Gift Aid (yipee!) and helping customers to their cars with their new purchases.
Michelle, shop manager approaches the till with a customer and asks Cathy to put something in the ‘Wishlist’ book – this is a book kept in the shop for customers looking for something specific so we can phone them if the item they’re looking for comes in.
The phone rings several times with supporters wanting to book furniture collections – so Cathy books these collections on to the ‘van sheets’. Our vans also delivering goods to customers, so it’s a delicate balance of scheduling pick-ups and drop-offs in by location and van capacity. St Austell Homestyle covers the furniture collections from Probus all the way up to Bude!
At the Homestyle shop there’s lots of similarities to the community shops I’ve worked in, with a large contingent of regular customers that come in weekly and know the team well. It’s just on a much bigger scale with a bigger shop floor, an upstairs and a clearance warehouse!
I was exhausted after a day on my feet with the St Austell Homestyle team! I really don’t know how they do it day after day….. well I do – it’s their commitment to our cause and their drive to deliver the best service they can to customers, all working towards helping to fund our very special care.