A charity supporting families across Waveney and Great Yarmouth is on the look-out for 100 new volunteers.

St Elizabeth Hospice has launched its Support Our Shops campaign, looking to encourage the extra help in as many days, as the charity, alongside East Coast Community Healthcare, expand its services.

Currently, dozens of volunteers support the hospice by carrying out roles in its seven retail shops, in the hospice inpatient unit, and with the administrative teams.

Jemma Wood, head of volunteering at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: "As we continue to expand the hospice's services and develop our retail arm, the need for more amazing volunteers has increased.

"This, combined with the impact of Covid-19 seeing our volunteer numbers decline, means we are calling on local people to show their love for their community and volunteer for their local hospice, through the launch of Support Our Shops in order to achieve our goal of 100 new volunteers in 100 days.

"This is an ambitious target but we are confident in the generosity of the Suffolk community who every year give continued support to the hospice.

"Everyone has a skill which can make a difference and no matter what time you are able to give to volunteering, you will be helping a cause which cares for so many in your community when support is needed most."

Each year the hospice delivers specialist palliative care to more than 3,000 people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness, and their families, throughout Waveney and Great Yarmouth.

Maria Rosier has volunteered at the hospice's Bungay shop since 2016, joining on the recommendation of a friend shortly after moving to the town with her husband Eddie.

She said: "With my husband being assistant town clerk on Bungay Town Council, and myself taking part in various community projects, such as art groups and being on the board of governors at Castle East School, I am always looking at ways to engage with my local community, and volunteering at the shop allows me to do this.

"The St Elizabeth Hospice shop is a real community hub for Bungay.

"The team are all very welcoming and the shop manager Julie is so accommodating.

"You instantly feel part of the team and are valued for the support you give, no matter how many hours this may be.

"My shifts are flexible, which fits well with my family life which, having three grown-up children, six grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, is quite active.

"I enjoy engaging with the public at the shop. People come in to buy items but they also visit to have conversations, which is such an important function for community wellbeing, and it is lovely to be a part of that in some way.

"Similar to many people, I have my own personal connection to the hospice as my brother-in-law received amazing support from their services in the community, at his home, which made such a difference to both him and my sister-in-law.

"St Elizabeth Hospice provides a lifeline to so many people and their families. You never know when you may need their support, but they are there when it matters most and to be able to help this charity in any way at all is very special to me."

Her charitable efforts continued despite the Covid pandemic when, with shops forced to close, she raised £500 for the charity by selling items she had decluttered through a small stall outside her home.

To learn more about volunteering, email volunteer@stelizabethhospice.org.uk, or go to the hospice's website.