Mary Wallace, a volunteer in our Chester store had a day to remember recently.

On the 19th March, she celebrated her 80th birthday and marked nine years at the Frodsham Street store with colleagues where she is a regular on the till and shop floor.

Mary Wallace with her birthday cake from Chester shop colleagues

A lovely place

Mary explained how she came to volunteering and what it means to her: “I worked for Cheshire County Council for 40 years in the administration department and had taken early retirement to care for my mother who was poorly.

“After she died, I wanted to do something to get me out the house.

“I had a few years at another store on Northgate Street and a short stint at Debenhams.

“When that came to an end I found Hope House Tŷ Gobaith in 2015 and I’ve been very happy here ever since.

“It’s a very good cause and I have visited the hospice in Oswestry, it’s a lovely place.”

Mary (centre front) with manager Rebecca Hemmings (centre back) and colleagues celebrate

Mary volunteers two mornings a week and finds there are many benefits.

She said: “Volunteering helps keep me active.

“I have also made good friends here with Helen and Pauline with whom I work regularly.

“Everybody is very friendly and I also meet many people in the shop from regulars to people who come in on day trips to the city.”

Favourite bits

Reflecting on her favourite aspects of her volunteering work, Mary says she particularly enjoys picking out the best donated china and glass pieces.

“I once discovered a beautiful rare glass scent bottle which was valued and sold for £60.”

Mary celebrated her 80th birthday at the shop with colleagues and manager Rebecca Hemmings.

Rebecca said: “Mary is such a lovely lady and great member of our team.

“She even came in on her special day and it was a pleasure to celebrate her birthday with a cake together.”

If you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities with Hope House Tŷ Gobaith chidren’s hospices then visit, pop into the Chester store at 52-56 Frodsham Street or call the store manager on (01244) 321281.