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Former hospice chair embarks on new volunteer role at its furniture warehouse

07 February 2018
  • Graham Yardley, former chair of Bolton Hospice.

A former chairman of Bolton Hospice - who was a trustee at the hospice until last year - has decided to contribute his free time in a different way by taking up a new role at its Furniture Plus warehouse.

Graham Yardley has volunteered for Bolton Hospice for over 20 years. He started as a fundraising volunteer and went on to become a trustee and then chairman of the hospice. 

He now gives his time helping out at the hospice’s Furniture Plus warehouse, including cleaning and polishing furniture.

“I feel I’ve come full circle because I initially started at the hospice around 1997 as a volunteer, said Graham. “In my previous job as the director of a paper company, I raised a lot of money for Bolton Hospice and was asked to join the fundraising committee which was comprised of volunteers, as at the time the fundraising team wasn’t as established as it is now. I was involved in arranging a lot of fundraising events, then in 2001 I was asked to become a volunteer trustee and was very pleased to accept!”

After about five years as trustee Graham was asked to become chairman of the hospice, which he did for around seven years and in 2013 he decided to step down as he felt the role needed someone with new ideas.

“As chairman, I always thought it was important to talk to volunteers, staff and patients which I did and I always found that very rewarding,” he said.

“One of the best achievements during my time as chairman was the acquisition of Giles House, which lead to the relocation of some of the administration team such as fundraising and finance staff out of the main hospice and this gave us scope to open up four new bedrooms. This was always very significant to me. 

“I remained as a trustee until October 2017, and after this I didn’t want to give up after so long, so I decided to become a volunteer! I had a chat with Margaret Brabbin, the Volunteer Coordinator, in terms of the best role for me and decided that volunteering at our Furniture Plus warehouse would suit me best. I enjoy it here very much and get involved in all sorts! 

“I do a little bit of everything and am happy to do whatever needs doing each day. For example, so far today I have spent my first hour cleaning and polishing furniture, making sure it is clean and presentable to the public. The entire team get stuck in, rearranging furniture, pricing new donations and putting onto the shop floor after the drivers have dropped it off. It’s wonderful, I love it and long may it continue!”

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