29 staff members from Gatwick Airport’s Finance department swapped counting money for counting charity shop donations as part of a special volunteering day in St Catherine’s Hospice charity shops.
After arriving at St Catherine’s main hospice site in Malthouse Road, Crawley, Gatwick volunteers were split into teams and deployed to nine of the 16 charity shops found across Sussex and Surrey, including: Haywards Heath, Horley, Horsham, Oxted, Redhill and Reigate as well as the East Grinstead warehouse.
Armed with St Catherine’s blue donation bags, Gatwick teams had already been busy before the volunteering day collecting clothing and homeware donations from family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to donate to their shop.
On arriving at their chosen shop, each team had to estimate the value of their combined donations before pricing up the items and racing against the clock to complete a series of tasks throughout the day including: sorting donations, steaming and pricing clothing, spotting unusual items, as well as five items with a link to Gatwick Airport, before finally creating an outfit to wear to the pub based on clothing items available to buy in St Catherine’s shop. For every challenge successfully completed, the team were awarded points.
After a busy day, all 29 staff met up at Goffs Manor for a well-deserved drink and judging of their outfits purchased from the shops.
Franz Villar, Senior Credit Controller at Gatwick Airport said: “We wanted to create a team day out with a difference and working with St Catherine’s gave our staff the chance to indulge in some friendly competition whilst helping the local community at the same time. St Catherine’s makes a real difference to people living with a terminal illness in the wider Gatwick area so this is a great way for us to give something back.”
St Catherine’s cares for more than 2,000 patients and their family and friends every year, providing free emotional and practical support for as long as it’s needed so fundraising through charity shops and challenge events is crucial.
Annette King, Senior Shop Manager, said: “We were thrilled to see Gatwick Airport staff getting so involved in our charity shop volunteering day. They really threw themselves into the tasks, especially when sorting donations, and created some fantastic outfits which showcase the quality of our stock. We rely on regular volunteers to serve our local community in our shops and I hope this highlights just how easy it is to get involved in helping out at your local St Catherine’s shop.”
If you want to become a volunteer at one of St Catherine’s charity shops please call the volunteering team on 01293 447351.