During Volunteers' Week, we'll be awarding some of our volunteers with their long service awards, from 5 years to 20 years of service!

Chris and Margaret are coming up on 20 years as dedicated Demelza volunteers – but how did they get started, and what’s kept them around for so long? We spoke to Chris to find out:

How it all started for Chris and Margaret

Chris shares: “We were walking past our local Demelza charity shop in 2002, and noticed it was closed; the sign said ‘due to lack of volunteers’. We just wanted to help that particular store get back to its feet, and before we knew it we’d done 20 years! We’re hoping to do a good few more years as well – no plans to stop yet.”

Highlights from 20-years of service

Chris continues: “I love being on the tills, so that’s mostly where you’ll find me. Some people come in all the time and you get to know them, others come in just the once; either way you get to have a chat with some truly lovely people, and the time you’re in the shop just flies by. There are so many charity shops in Hythe as well, yet we always get the most generous donations in our Demelza store. It’s no wonder we’ve already done 20 years when the work is so enjoyable!”

A Chitty Chitty Bang Bang themed Fete float.

Proudly representing Demelza at Hythe’s Venetian Fete

“We’re predominantly retail volunteers, but a few years back Demelza had a float themed around Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Hythe’s Venetian Fete; I ended up playing the part of the Child Catcher! We did once round the canal during the day, then when it got dark we lit up all the floats and did another circuit. It was so beautiful and the children who came along for the Fete absolutely loved it, they were in fits of giggles when their parents warned them about the Child Catcher. That was a lot of fun, and something I never would have done if not for Demelza.”

“Demelza supports hundreds of families when they need it most; Margaret and I are just happy to play our very small part in such an amazing organisation.”

All of our volunteers, just like Chris and Margaret, are the beating heart of Demelza - and it is because of them, that we are able to continue providing vital care and support to those who need us most within our communities.

Interested in getting involved? Find out more about our current volunteering opportunities:


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