Meet Sylvia and Christine, two amazing woman who have volunteered their time, hard work and ideas for Overgate Hospice for the last 25 years.

They both currently volunteer at our Ovenden charity shop which was first opened by Sylvia and friend Agnes back in 1998. The idea came to Agnes when the old pharmacy was closed on Keighley Road and the little retail unit became available. The pair worked together to bring Overgate’s first shop in Ovenden to life and inviting as many volunteers as they could to help run the shop and make as much money for the Hospice as possible.
Funnily enough, when Agnes first mentioned the shop idea, Sylvia’s initial response was “it’ll never make any money!”. Luckily, a lady called Mary Wilkinson agreed to fund the shop for the first 12 months.

On a mission to recruit help, Sylvia and Agnes had the shop feature in the Halifax Courier which is where Christine saw the advertisement and chose to get involved. Christine was working at Bradshaw school and when she finished work at 1pm, she would go straight to the shop to do a voluntary shift.  There was a busy team of volunteers that ran the shop unpaid for 15 years! At the end of the first year, the shop had made around £5000 profit, which was a lot at the time and seen as a huge success.

Since then, both have continued to volunteer in the Ovenden shop and done lots of other fundraising activities in support of the Hospice. Sylvia volunteers on a Monday and Thursday morning and Christine still does a Monday morning and enjoys running the till and speaking to all the customers in the shop, while Sylvia enjoys ironing and preparing clothes for the shop floor.

When asked why they love volunteering so much, Christine said “I love the feeling that I’m helping people” and Sylvia expressed “I’ve made a hell of a lot of friends along the way and have a whole new wardrobe!”
Both Christine and Sylvia have experienced the care at Overgate Hospice as family members; with Christine’s Mum and Son-in-Law both cared for at the hospice as well as Sylvia’s Brother-in-Law and recently, her Husband. They know how important the Hospice is to our community and through their generous time and efforts, they are ensuring Overgate can care for more patients and their families when they need it most.
Volunteers are at the very heart of Overgate and without them, we simply couldn’t continue to be here for our local community. Giving your time and skills for free is such a special gift to give and we would love to meet more people who may want to become an Overgate volunteer themselves.

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