‘It’s not about how many years, it’s about what you can do...’
THE volunteer manager of a St Helier charity shop who turns 80 next month says that after three decades working there she still has no plans to retire.
Pam Hamon has run the Mind Jersey shop since 1986. She took up the role after losing her first husband and says she likes being a volunteer.
The retired civil servant began volunteering for the charity after the shock of losing her husband meant she could not work or drive for a year.
It was during her recovery that it was suggested she volunteer at the charity, and after working there she was able to return to full-time work at the Taxes Office, volunteering in the shop on Saturdays when Mind Jersey was known as Jersey Focus on Mental Health.
‘I remember being a customer at the shop and looking for things that would suit my family,’ said the grandmother.
She explained that with a big team to support the shop at 53 New Street, she has no reason to stop.
‘It’s not about how many years, it’s about what you can do as a volunteer,’ she said.
Mrs Hamon now works on Monday and Wednesday mornings, leaving her plenty of time for other activities such as playing bowls.
Mind Jersey has now merged with Mind UK, but all the money raised in the shop stays in the Island.
‘People are always very generous, donating things that were hardly used but cost a lot of money,’ she said.
Mrs Hamon recalled one incident that stuck in her mind:
‘A gentleman came in once when it was pouring down with rain. He walked to the back of the shop where the men’s attire was.
‘After he left I spotted a pair of soaking-wet shoes, so he obviously swapped them.
‘They always say there are people who steal from charity shops, but that was the only time I can say it happened. His need was greater than ours.’
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