At Severn Hospice we have helped thousands of local people since we first opened our doors to patients in 1989. Here, 21-year-old Briony Leedham from St Georges in Telford talks about how the Hospice has helped her in a different way – by supporting her blossoming career as a member of our retail team.

I was looking for a job as I had just finished college when I came across the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) scheme, a Government initiative to help unemployed young people get work experience. After an interview I was accepted onto the scheme and was based at the Hospice’s shop in Wellington. I was there for six months and loved every minute of it. Everybody was so nice and I got to experience everything; till work, sorting donations, putting stock out and dressing the window, which was my little speciality.

It made me definitely think about a career change. I did originally want to teach or became a social worker as I was volunteering at a school in Randlay. I’d never really thought about retail but I really enjoyed it and soon made friends.

After I had finished the placement Yvonne, manager of the shop in Wellington, texted me to say that the assistant manager’s job was being advertised. I went for it and I was lucky enough to get the job which was really exciting. It was amazing to be back at the shop in Wellington working with all the lovely volunteers and staff.

I was there for about seven months when I heard about the manager’s job at the Oakengates shop. I knew I wanted to apply straight away so I called Andrew the retail area manager and said I was really interested in the job. At that time my house had been broken into and they had taken everything so I wasn’t able to print out the application form.  Andrew told me to write a letter about why I was interested in the job and what I thought I could bring to the role.

I got an interview which was really good experience as it was different to the interview for the FJF scheme and assistant manager’s job.

I was so excited when I found out that I had got the job. It’s a bit scary because I’m in charge now and it’s down to me that things happen but I absolutely love it.

The whole experience has been fabulous and I have definitely grown as a person. Without the FJF scheme and the Hospice I wouldn’t be where I am today.

The Hospice is a wonderful local charity that cares for so many people in so many different ways. My Grandma passed away at the Hospice in Shrewsbury so I understand the difference the Hospice can make and how important it is to try and raise as much money as we can.

You can find out more about our retail department and where your nearest Severn Hospice shop is by clicking here.

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