VOLUNTEERS are needed urgently to help a Chester hospice.

The Hospice of the Good Shepherd, based in Backford, desperately needs people to work in its shops.

The charity provides free, dedicated care for patients facing life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Every year it relies on more than 400 volunteers who support and care for patients, help raise funds, carry out work in the community and run the charity shops.

Hospice bosses say they now need more volunteers for a range of roles, especially to support its shops.

Tasks would include dressing windows, steaming clothes, operating the till, sorting stock in the warehouse, helping keep shops tidy and up-to-date, and helping customers with their donations and purchases.

Tony Picton has been volunteering for two years. He works in the Sutton Way shop in Ellesmere Port all day Wednesday and as a receptionist on alternate Thursday evenings in the hospice.

Speaking about his experience, he said: "I got involved with volunteering for the hospice because when I retired I wanted to give something back to the community as I had plenty of time to give.

“The hospice needed volunteers to help out in Sutton Way shop, and with over 40 years retail experience what better way to help out. It’s so rewarding, you get to meet local people and a real feeling of enjoyment and fulfilment.

“Volunteering at the shop makes giving my time worthwhile knowing that I'm helping to raise money for the Hospice”

Caroline Siddall, director of income generation at the hospice, based in Backford, said: "Our shops are vital to us. They help us raise the funds we need each and every year to deliver our free services to those in our community with life-limiting illnesses.

“That's only possible because of our wonderful volunteers but we desperately need more. I'd urge anyone interested, even if they can spare just a couple of hours a week, to contact us as soon as possible - we really do need their help. Please help us spread the word."

The Hospice of the Good Shepherd has charity shops in Chester, Hoole, Neston, Sutton Way and Ellesmere Port.

For more information about opportunities to volunteer call 01244 566732 or email susan.beckett@hospicegs.com