Volunteering at Seaton Hospiscare shop is therapy for Liz

PUBLISHED: 07:01 20 January 2020

Liz Crosfield volunteering in her local Hospiscare shop in Seaton. Picture: Hospiscare

Liz Crosfield volunteering in her local Hospiscare shop in Seaton. Picture: Hospiscare

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Volunteering for Hospiscare at Seaton has helped Liz Crosfield regain her confidence.

Liz Crosfield volunteering in her local Hospiscare shop in Seaton. Picture: HospiscareLiz Crosfield volunteering in her local Hospiscare shop in Seaton. Picture: Hospiscare

Originally from London, the 56-year-old moved to the town to be closer to family after losing her parents.

Both her mother and father died within a short space of time - her father had been unwell and her mother had struggled with melanomas, but it still came as a shock.

It was an extremely traumatic time for Liz and she found it very difficult. She completely withdrew into herself she didn't want to leave the house or see anyone and was prescribed anti-depressants.

After moving to Seaton, Liz felt she was ready to get out and do something. She wanted to contribute to the community and give something back, but she also wanted to do something positive for herself.

She said: "I went for a walk through Seaton and saw the Hospiscare shop in Marine Crescent. My parents didn't get into their local hospice but we really wish they had. It's a cause very close to my heart.

"I went into the shop and spoke to Barbara Carter, the sales advisor. I asked if they needed any volunteers and Barbara responded with a very enthusiastic 'yes please!'

"A few days later I got a call from Louisa Dayman, the manager, who invited me in for a trial.

"I absolutely loved it from the start! All the other volunteers are amazing! Everyone is so supportive and it has given me a lot more confidence.

"Volunteering at the shop has led to me doing other things for Hospiscare as well. I walked five miles at the Twilight Walk with one of the other volunteers from the shop and raised over £220 for Hospiscare.

"I have donated some of mum's craft supplies to other volunteers who make items to raise money for charity. It's so nice to know that these are being used to create something else and raise money for charity.

"Volunteering has given me a huge amount of confidence. Even though I haven't been living in Seaton very long, I really feel like part of the community. People will say hello to me on the street because they recognise me from the shop.

"I also find it really rewarding being able to help customers who have recently experienced a bereavement. I am able to listen to them and empathise with what they are going through."

Liz does everything she can to help in the shop - from sorting donations and steaming clothes to talking to customers and creating window displays.

She added: "It's nice to feel like I'm trusted to help with the window displays and work on the till.

"Volunteering has completely changed my life and outlook. I'm in a much better place because of it. I'm completely unrecognisable from where I was just a year ago.

"To anyone that wants to try volunteering I'd say just give it a go! When I started, I had no idea what to expect. I was made to feel so welcome. I've got so much more out of volunteering than I thought I would. You never know the change it could make in your life, so just come and give it a try!"

To find out more about the range of volunteering roles available in Seaton and East Devon, email volunteering@hospiscare.co.uk or call Vicky or Bob on 01392 688005.

* Hospiscare is a local charity that cares for terminally ill adults and their families in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. With less than 20 per cent of the charity's funding coming from the NHS, Hospiscare rely upon donations from the public to provide end of life care to the local community.

Hospiscare has four hospices in Devon - Searle House in Exeter which has a twelve-bed ward, Kings House in Honiton, Pine Lodge in Tiverton and High View Gardens in Exmouth.

Hospiscare also provides care in the community with Hospiscare@Home in Exmouth and Budleigh and Seaton and Axminster.

The care that Hospiscare provides, whether this is in the patient's home, or at one of the hospices, is funded by donations and therefore incurs no cost for the patient. Hospiscare is also dedicated to providing supportive care for the friends and family of the patients, both in the lead up to their loved one's death and after their death through the charity's supportive bereavement services.

To find out more about Hospiscare, including fundraising events and Hospiscare stories, visit the website at https://www.hospiscare.co.uk/

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