In line with Government guidelines, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Support Centres and Charity Shops closed on the 23rd March.
Knowing how important our services are to our clients meant we have had to diversify the support we could provide at this time and have implemented welfare calls, by telephone, to clients and volunteers.
We are very proud to say that to date our therapists have had 923 conversations and left 389 messages with clients. These have been very well received; listening to clients who have had medical treatment cancelled or delayed, sign posting people to the range of online and virtual support groups such as mindfulness and yoga that we have set up or having a general chat has been hugely beneficial. We have also been providing emergency and crisis counselling sessions by telephone.
Here are some quotes from clients we have recently helped;
““The counsellor had given me back my joy in life, she had taught me how to deal with my own concerns with methods to enable me to deal with worries and fear as they come along. I have hope again and even look more to the future with plans that I had long shelved. Cancer will be here long after Covid 19 – please help to ensure that the Helen Rollason Charity is also still here.”
“I had a lovely chat with Wendy today when she called me for the second time. She listened to my worries and we shared our experiences during this unsettling time. She’s the first person I’ve spoken to this week. Thank you.”
“I understand you all really tried hard to support your clients. I have nothing but high praise for your team who really went above and beyond. A big thank you; Helen would be so proud of what you have achieved, you really do show that you care.”
As is the case for so many charities, the pandemic has impacted our budgeted income. Our annual cycle event Ride for Helen should have taken place in May at Crix in the village but this has been rescheduled to Sunday 20th September 2020. We may have to restrict numbers and change some processes but we are confident this will take place. Online registration is available at www.rideforhelen.co.uk
Our eBay shop has reopened and sales have picked up quickly. Have a browse; we guarantee that social distancing is not an issue in this shop! We stock something for everybody – children’s clothing to fishing equipment, porcelain figures to designer shoes and clothing. We know that many people have used some of lockdown to have a sort out and tidy cupboards and sheds. If you have anything you think we could sell on eBay then please let us know.
So many of the fabulous events hosted by supporters, businesses and in the community have been cancelled. Therefore to try and recoup some of the deficit in the income we have launched our Summer Online Raffle! Tickets are £5 each with an opportunity to win some fabulous prizes. We appreciate that for some people £5 is a big ask but for anybody who does buy a ticket we can assure you that the money will be spent wisely to enable quality of life while living with cancer.
We are very grateful to have been supported by Tevva Motors Limited in Chelmsford, and employee Shaun Baxter for the donation of 79 face shields that will be used by staff and volunteers when our Cancer Support Centres reopen. Shaun is on furlough leave but has used his time to make the shields with materials provided by the company.
We are going to be reopening our charity shops, in phases, in the next few weeks but before we do we have a shopping list of support equipment we will need;
– 20 boxes of latex gloves
– 20 packets of antibacterial wipes
– 4 blue roll holders and blue roll
– 3 paper towel holders and paper towels
We are also looking for some additional storage space in the village of Hatfield Peverel to store the donations we have been receiving. If anyone has an unused garage, large shed, warehouse or similar in the local area that we could borrow for the next 3 or 4 months then please do get in touch.
Do you have any of the above that you would be happy to donate and help us keep our costs down? If so please contact our CEO Kate Alden on 07730 209442 or email [email protected]
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Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is looking to reopen their established Witham Charity Shop on Newland Street after closing in line with Government guidelines on the 23rd March.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a number of their regular volunteers have been forced to retire, leaving the charity with a shortfall of help. Now the charity is appealing for people to give up their time and volunteer at the shop otherwise it will be unable to reopen as planned.
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity CEO Kate Alden said; “We are looking forward to being able to reopen our Witham Charity Shop as our shops are the absolute lifeblood of the charity. However we have sadly said goodbye to some of our regular volunteers and are therefore calling on the local community to help us.
If you can spare a few hours, have a good sense of humour and enjoy meeting new people, we would love to have your help with volunteering in our Witham charity shop. Our shops are a hive of activity, with donations to sort, and our excellent regular customers to serve. We are always receiving new donations so our shelves are regularly filled with fresh stock and different items.
I know that our regular customers in Witham have really missed popping into our shop for a browse and a chat; there is always a warm welcome waiting. However we can only reopen if we have enough volunteers to man the shop.”
For more information on volunteering please call Kate Alden on 07730 209442 or you can email her on [email protected]
Anne Wilkes and Beth Carder both already volunteer at the Witham Charity Shop so we caught up with them to see what being a retail volunteer entails…
What is your age and where do you live?
Anne: I’m 54 and live in Witham.
Beth: I’m 66 and also live in Witham.
How long have you been volunteering in the HRCC Witham shop?
Anne: Nearly a year.
Beth: Over eight years.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you became a retail volunteer.
Anne: After being made redundant in 2017 I decided to find some voluntary work. HRCC appealed to me because I remember Helen Rollason when she was on television, it’s a local Essex charity and like most people, I have lost loved ones to cancer.
Beth: Once l retired l had a few hours to spare each week so decided to get involved in a local charity, one that was cancer related as both friends and family have been affected by this disease.
Describe your average day in the shop.
Anne: The work can be varied; from serving customers to sorting donations, arranging displays, pricing goods and steaming clothes.
Beth: Donation pricing and sorting, arranging items on the shelves and keeping the shop neat and tidy.
What have you gained from working in the shop?
Anne: Retail experience and new friends.
Beth: It is very satisfying and gives me a purpose.
What skills do you think potential new retail volunteers need?
Anne: Common sense, a friendly approach and a good sense of humour.
Beth: Good with people, versatile and flexible with your time.
Anne: Walking, seeing friends and swimming.
Beth: Walking my Jack Russell and spending time in the summer months at my caravan.
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Enter the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Summer Raffle for your chance to win one of the following great prizes…
- A Luxury Hamper
- A round of Golf for four at Crondon Park. 18 holes on The Championship Course.
- Barrett & Coe family photography session – valued at £160 to attend your local Barrett and Coe photography studio for a one hour family portrait session (worth £75) and a framed gift 6×8 (worth £85).
- One hour voucher for a treatment of your choice at The Gentle Touch, Colchester.
- A bottle of Moet Champagne.
- A Large soft toy.
Simply complete the form below and your ticket(s) will be entered into the draw on Monday 10th August.
Ticket sales close on 9th August and the draw will take place at Yvonne Stewart House on Monday 10th August.
Promoter: Sue Hayden, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, Yvonne Stewart House, The Street, Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 2EH.
Registered under the Gambling Act 2005 with Chelmsford City Council No. 0111. Registered Charity No: 1052861
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