My name is Kate McCarthy,and I am a Shop Manager for Farleigh Hospice.

“I started as a volunteer back in 2005, and began working for the charity in various roles in 2009. Since 2015 I have been the Shop Manager at our Boreham site.

The shop is open six days a week, Monday to Saturday from 9am – 4.30pm. I start preparing the shop for opening at 8am, hoovering, cleaning and mopping the floors, to ensure the shop is clean and tidy for all of our customers.

Luckily I am not alone in ensuring the shop runs smoothly. I have a Relief Manager and 25 volunteers who help and support me every week. If it wasn’t for our volunteers we would not be able to open the shop, and we certainly wouldn’t be able to sort the 300 to 400 bags of donations we receive every week. The sorting process is very time consuming: we have to identify those items suitable for the shop and then look at what needs to be recycled. We have a recycling company that collects all the unsuitable items free of charge. However, books and clothing that we cannot sell in the shop are sold to companies who reuse or recycle the items, so nothing is wasted.

The volunteers also help me with stock rotation. We want to keep the shop up-to-date and ensure we have something new on display every time someone pops in to visit us.

The shop contributes over £30,000 to Farleigh each year - which would not be possible without the support of our volunteers. We work as a team, helping each other out - we are like a little extended family. This is also true of many of our customers, we have regulars who come in two to three times a day. We are like a little community hub, we really get to know our customers and we really appreciate the support of our local community.

The community spirit really comes to light during the festive season when we hold our Christmas event. Volunteers put in extra hours so we can dress the window and prepare our selection of Christmas decorations, toys, puzzles and gifts, ready for sale. We also offer anyone who pops in a mince pie, it’s a great festive atmosphere for everyone involved.

Overall I have been working and volunteering for Farleigh Hospice for 13 years, and I still have the same passion I had when I first started. Some days it can be hard work, but I think we have a great team of volunteers, a lovely community spirit, and most importantly we are working for a good charity, raising much needed funds for people with life-limiting illnesses.”


In September Farleigh launched its new ebay site, offering branded, vintage and designer items, from clothing, jewellery to books and household goods. Since going live we have sold £4,400 worth of items!

If you would like to visit our online store click here.