Sally and volunteer behind shop counter

What’s it like working in Rennie Grove shop?

Rennie Grove Hospice Care has 27 shops spread across Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. Staff and volunteers are the beating heart that keep our shops running, along with generous donations from the local community that keeps our range of fashion, toys, DVDs, CDs, vinyl, games and home ware fresh. 

Read stories from our staff and volunteers below to find out what it's like to work in one of our shops, then visit our paid and volunteer vacancies to see what opportunities we have.

Sally King

Sally King joined Rennie Grove Hospice Care as Assistant Shop Manager at the charity’s newest shop in Bedgrove, near Aylesbury in April this year.

Sally works in Rennie Grove Hospice Care's charity shop in Bedgrove

Here Sally explains more about her role and the positive contribution shop staff make towards enabling Rennie Grove to deliver its specialist nursing care to local patients.

What does your role entail?

My role is work alongside the Manager to develop the Bedgrove shop so that it flourishes and becomes the place to visit to purchase quality new and preloved items and raise lots of funds for the charity.

The shop is new – it opened in May 2018 – so I am also working with the local community to establish a great team of volunteers to help in the shop.  I’ve been using the local Facebook to help me with this as well as talking about the role to people when they visit the shop. I also encourage people to buy from us and make donations too.

What attracted you to this role?

Seven years ago my Mother was diagnosed with bladder cancer and the nurses from Iain Rennie Hospice at Home (as they were called in those days) looked after her and us, her family, giving us the help and support we needed at the difficult time of her end of life.

Bedgrove shop worker what it's like to work at Rennie Grove

The nurses were amazing, and we couldn't have got through the dreadful experience without their support. They looked after her faultlessly.

When I saw this job advertised I felt it was my chance to give something back to the charity, along with doing a job that I knew I would enjoy. I have always worked locally and have a wide knowledge of the area and the people that shop here.

How does your role contribute to patient care?

Although we don't have direct contact with patients, our role in the retail side of Rennie Grove helps to raise money that funds nurses and health care assistants. This in turn means that the charity can continue to offer the nursing and support that is essential to local families who have loved ones who are at their end of life and need the level of care that as a charity we excel at.

We are also the public face of Rennie Grove in the community as we come into contact with lots of people each day.  This means we get plenty of opportunities to explain the role of Rennie Grove and provide people with information and literature to help them better understand the service we offer.

volunteer Rennie Grove Hospice Care shop Bedgrove

Do volunteers or customers tell you about their personal experience of the care provided by Rennie Grove?

Yes we are very well supported and receive a large number of donations from local families who come to us specifically because the Rennie Grove nurses have looked after someone in the family or a friend. Sometimes it has been the wish of the patient to donate to us or it’s because the families are very grateful and they want to help other families receive the same level of care that they themselves have received.

We feel privileged that very often our customers want to share with us the stories about what their loves ones have gone through and that can be emotional yet uplifting. I think part of our role is to be compassionate and supportive when people are feeling raw at a recent bereavement 

Sally and volunteer behind shop counter

We recently had a visit from an elderly gentleman whose wife had recently passed away. She had been nursed by Rennie Grove and he wanted to talk about her and what she had been through; he was feeling lost as they had been married for many, many years. He was finding it hard to clear out her belongings, but wanted to help others and asked whether we could take her clothes. A few days later he returned with several bags of clothes and said it had helped to chat to me. This was a customer who touched me in particular because I have had the same type of cancer as his wife and was fortunate enough to fight it and be a survivor.

We also have a lovely volunteer who was widowed a few months ago. Volunteering for Rennie Grove gives her a purpose, companionship, a reason to get out of the house and someone to talk to about her loss. Since she joined us she has gained so much confidence.

Is there anything you would like to say to encourage others to apply for a job in a Rennie Grove charity shop?

It is a rewarding job that’s varied and interesting.  It isn't simply a retail role; it’s a way of really helping other families because the more donations you receive the more money you can raise which in turn means more specialist nursing care for local families.