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Doris, Denton Shop

I've been volunteering at Willow Wood for five years now and for most of that time I worked at the shop in Denton Town Centre. Recently however, we’ve moved to bigger premises on the outskirts of Denton, on Reddish Lane. It’s not as convenient for me, I have to catch a bus to get here, but I couldn’t give it up. I enjoy volunteering so much.

I started shortly after I’d retired; I was walking into town one day, saw a notice about volunteering in the shop window and went straight in for a chat. And that was it really, I wanted to get involved and have never looked back.

Initially I was working behind the scenes, sorting, steaming and pricing the donations. However when I broke my shoulder I moved to working behind the till and it’s great, you can have some real banter with the customers. They soon become more than customers; you get to know them so well as some call in every week and we talk about their families and their lives. We’re all really pleased that a good number of them have followed us into the new shop, they still come down to have a chat and a browse round the shop.

Of course, we’re wearing PPE now, and ensuring that both we and the customers sanitise their hands, but it’s not made any difference. At first the masks felt a bit uncomfortable but we know we’ve got to do it and we just get on with it.

And of course, you form strong friendships with the other volunteers and the shop manager, Rosie. I suppose we’ve got a lot in common, we all wanted to get involved and do our bit to help Willow Wood. It’s such an important part of local life and cares for so many people. It’s a bit funny really, my husband is now a lollipop man so we’re both helping others and both enjoying being part of our local community.

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