For the last 12 months, a charity shop in Bare has been helping a Duke of Edinburgh student achieve their Gold Award.
The St John’s Hospice shop, on Princes Crescent, is run by volunteers, and a little over 12 months ago they got a visit from Morecambe High student, Jasmine Tolson. Jasmine was doing her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and part of attaining the award is to volunteer for 12 months. “My mum comes into the shop here frequently and she suggested I ask inside about volunteering. I didn’t know much about the hospice at the time, but Yvonne was so welcoming and all the volunteers were lovely, so I started volunteering every Saturday. Since then I have come to learn so much about the care the hospice provides and how important the charity is to so many people.”
Yvonne Fisher, who is the volunteer manager at the shop speaks very highly of Jasmine, and of Duke of Edinburgh students in general, “Jasmine is an important part of the team. Ever since she started she has been fantastic, very reliable and great with the customers. It has been a pleasure having her help out each Saturday, and such a positive and selfless thing for a young person to do. Jasmine is the 18th Duke of Edinburgh student to have volunteered here and I can honestly say they all been brilliant. They bring new skills, ideas and enthusiasm to the shop, and we help give them work experience.”
Jasmine, who has now finished her volunteering requirements for the award, will continue to volunteer each week, “I hope to go to university in September, but I will definitely keep up the volunteering here as long as I can, I have enjoyed it so much. It is amazing the kind of items we get from antique cameras to kids toys and games, no two days are the same.”
Asked if she would recommend volunteering to her peers, “Definitely! It is great to gain experience and for university and future job applications, but it also gets you doing something different and meeting people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet. I think that is invaluable for someone my age.”