1st July 2022

Horsell Shop Good Samaritans

Pictured above left to right; Sarah Cameron [Duty Manager], Margaret Marshall [Volunteer] and Veronica Woodisse [Volunteer].

Article written by Stuart Flitton of the Woking News & Mail

The manager and volunteers at a Woking & Sam Beare Hospice shop have been praised for the care and help they gave a 93-year-old customer who felt faint after a convoluted bus journey on a hot day.

Gill said her mother, who lives in Sheerwater, spent more than three hours travelling on three buses for an errand to Horsell on a very hot day last week after being misdirected several times.

Gill’s mother, who does not want to be named, went into the hospice shop in the village to shield  from the heat.

Sarah, the duty manager that day, said she and volunteers Margaret Marshall and Veronica Woodisse saw the elderly woman was not coping with the heat.

“All she wanted was to sit in the shop until the bus came along,” Sarah said.

“We sat her down, took her cardie off and got her a cup of tea.

“She’d not had anything to eat or drink since six o’clock in the morning.

“One of the volunteers got her a sticky bun from the bakers. She was trying to get back to Sheerwater and had been out since about 9 in the morning and was planning to be back by 11am. By this time it was about 2.30pm.

“We knew that there was no way that she was going to get a bus home. So we told her to just relax and that we’d look after her.

“She was such a sweet lady and kept apologising and wanted to give us money but we refused.”

The elderly woman mentioned that she had an appointment at St Peter’s Hospital in a couple of weeks and was worried about the journey after her experience that day.

She was speaking to the right person, as Sarah’s husband, Tim Gray, is a driver with the Bustler Dial-A-Ride service.

“I explained that they could pick her up from her home with a door-to-door service,” Sarah said.

“There would be no having to stand at bus stops.

“I signed her up for Bustler buses and gave her the number and told her to give them a call.

“She started looking a bit brighter after the cup of tea and I said that I’d take her home. I took her bags in for her and made sure she was OK.”

Sarah said the woman phoned the next day to thank her and Veronica and Margaret and to say that she had organised the hospital journey with Bustler.

“She’s just a lovely lady,” said Sarah. “We just wanted to help. We’d do it for any of our customers.

“We all looked after her. It was a team effort, as it always is in these shops.”

Gill told the News & Mail she was very grateful for the help given to her mother.

“I’m in Somerset and she rang to tell me what had happened. Mum asked me how she could repay these ladies and I said, ‘let me ring the News & Mail’.”

Kerry Bennett, the hospice’s director of marketing and retail, said: “This is such a heart-warming story that really demonstrates what an integral part of the community the hospice’s shops are.

“This story – where Sarah, Veronica and Margaret so thoughtfully looked after a member of the community – really embodies the values of Woking & Sam Beare Hospice. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and all those who so generously support the hospice and give back to their community.

“The profits from the sale of goods at our 16 shops across our region of North West Surrey all contribute towards the delivery of the hospice’s care and support services. We could not do what we do without a dedicated team of staff and fabulous volunteers that give up their time to support us.”

With thanks to the Woking News & Mail for running such a lovely piece.

If you would like more information on how you can join our team then pop along to one of our recruitment fairs on the 14th and 16th July. For more information: Recruitment Open Day – Woking & Sam Beare Hospices (wsbhospices.co.uk)