Words by Smiley Team
A volunteer at a St Rocco’s Hospice charity shop has just celebrated her 100th birthday – and is still going strong.
Gladys has been volunteering with St Rocco’s Hospice for 31 years and, as of 20 April 2022, turned 100 years old. According to a spokesperson for the hospice, Gladys shows “no sign of stopping” and intends to keep giving back.
The shop manager, Jen, said Gladys helps all across the shops, and she is "particularly good liaising with customers".
"She carries on volunteering because it gets her out of the house and gives her some company, plus it helps a very worthy cause," said Jen.
"After Covid, she was instrumental in helping to persuade other volunteers to return to the shop. She would say, 'give it a try', to anyone thinking of volunteering."
Recent research shows that volunteering has a surprising number of health benefits. Among other things, volunteering is associated with improved mental health, including relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In a 2017 study into Wildlife Trust volunteers, half of those who had started volunteering with low mental wellbeing had seen improvement in just 12 weeks. Two thirds of all participants saw an improvement in their wellbeing after six weeks.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, to socialise and improve social skills, and make lasting friendships with other people who have similar values.
VOLUNTEER: If you’re inspired to volunteer, these websites will help you find somewhere local where you can give your time.
DONATE: Support St Rocco’s Hospice by donating furniture to be sold, or contributing financially.