Meet Sue, one of our Frock Stop volunteers. This is her story
“My name is Sue. I originate from Manchester but have lived in Mülheim an der Ruhr in Germany with my husband Peter for about 40 years. Last year I took early retirement, which has enabled Peter and I to come over to the Northwich area where my family lives as often as we like. Although St Luke’s Hospice is well-known in the area, I first heard of the warehouse in Winsford from my sister Angela, who bought an amazing array of things there (bedsteads, lamps, paintings, chairs, dvd’s and cupboards to name but a few). Since Peter and I have discovered the warehouse, we too are regulars!
One day as we were browsing in the warehouse, a beautiful bright red vintage double decker bus suddenly pulled up on the car park outside. This was the Frock Stop, an amazing boutique on wheels selling all things we women love – dresses, trousers, skirts, coats, jackets, tops, evening and event wear, hats, shoes, handbags, jewellery, scarves, all top brands, in excellent condition and beautifully presented. I was fascinated! When I saw the “volunteers required” notice in the window, I just knew that I had to apply. It was only a matter of days before I met Zohra, our bubbly Project Manager and lots of very friendly volunteers. Such is Zohra’s talent at recruiting that when my sister Angela came to visit me when I was on the bus for the first time, within 5 minutes she had taken off her coat and was serving her first customers.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Saturdays on Luke doing the Makers Markets in Northwich and Middlewich. However, soon it was time for me to return to Germany. My mind was constantly ticking over as to how I could still work for the Frock Shop even though I was in Germany… and then my idea was born.
When I got back to Germany, I wrote a long letter to my closest friends telling them all about the work of St Luke’s Hospice and the ways in which the Hospice tries to raise funds. I explained about the big red English double decker bus which Bentley had refurbished. I enclosed photos of the bus and myself in action. Within 3 weeks my friends had donated 500 items of clothing for St Luke’s! My original plan was that if I managed to collect enough clothes, I would bring them in a suitcase the next time we came over to the UK. But 500 items? A good friend of ours in Germany very kindly offered to ship the clothes over to the UK on a pallet. When I asked how much this would cost, he told me that this was his donation to St Luke’s. I was amazed, delighted and very grateful for the support my German friends have shown. Simply wunderbar!
The clothes from Germany sold very well. So well in fact that I will be sending over another pallet in the near future. Word seems to be spreading rapidly around my home town in Germany that the English lady on Mendener Street collects good quality clothes for a very good cause in England … St Luke’s goes international!
It is now 5 years since my mother died in a hospice. The memories of these last days are still vivid. We were so touched by how well mum was cared for, by the help, understanding, support and kindness we were shown in this heartbreaking situation. My motivation for helping St Luke’s is to give a little back of what the hospice movement has given me”.
If you would like to volunteer for the Frock Stop, please click here