Pauline’s a ten-year superstar volunteer

A superstar volunteer and fundraiser for Bluebell Wood is celebrating ten years at our Sheffield shop.

Pauline Higbid, superstar volunteer and fundraiser for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice

Pauline Higbid

Pauline Higbid has turned up in all weathers to help out at the King Street shop, every Tuesday for the last ten years, come rain or shine, and also raised over £20,000 for Bluebell Wood.

Pauline, who turned 82 just before Christmas, has given some remarkable support since she attended the first turf cutting at the then-new site for the children’s hospice in North Anston in 2007. A nurse for 30 years, Pauline has raised over £20,000 for the charity, mostly through an annual open garden event, with the support of her friends and husband before he passed away five years ago.

Pauline said: “When I retired I wanted something to keep me busy. I know the amazing things that hospices can achieve and what a lovely atmosphere they create for families, so I joined the Bluebell Wood support group. This is run by Ann Clarke in Dore and it’s a wonderful group.

“I started working at the Sheffield shop every Tuesday. I enjoy being on the till, sorting stock or whatever I’m asked to do. We’ve got a super leader in Tracey and because it’s such a good team and everyone pulls together, you don’t mind doing whatever’s asked of you.

Pauline Higbid (left) with Tracey Woolsey, Bluebell Wood shop manager

Pauline, left, with Tracey Woolsey, shop manager

“I used to help out at the Christmas Fairs at Stephen Hill in Sheffield which raised about £800 every year for Bluebell Wood. I also took part in Crosspool Open Gardens, and then decided to do my own annual ‘open garden’ later on in the year when more plants were in bloom. I’ve run ten open garden events for Bluebell Wood, but couldn’t have done any of these alone. My husband and friends used to help run them on the day so that I could to talk to visitors and collect donations. Everyone pulling together made these possible.

“The open gardens became so well known that people would send in donations if they couldn’t make them. We raised over £1,000 each time and £1,562 at the last one.

“With volunteering there’s always something to do. I’ve shaken buckets at Hillsborough and I love selling. Tracey often puts me on raffle tickets at the shop because I can sell two or three books in a morning. I’ve got a bit of a reputation. People will see me coming and say ‘what is it now!’

“Bluebell Wood is such a wonderful place to raise money for. It must be such a haven for families.”

Tracey Woolsey, Manager of Bluebell Wood’s Sheffield shop: “Pauline is amazing. She turns up every week without fail. Even in snowy weather she arrives on the dot, wearing her grippers. She has worked so hard and been so reliable. I cannot praise her highly enough and just want to thank her for everything she does for Bluebell Wood and its families.

“Our shops couldn’t run without our volunteers. We always need pairs of hands to help us sort out donations, fill shelves or price up stock. Anyone offering their support, whether that’s for a few hours a week or a day here and there, will be welcomed with open arms.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer to work at one of Bluebell Wood’s shops should contact Terry Lowell, Bluebell Wood’s Volunteer Coordinator, on 01909 508116 or email terry.lowell@bluebellwood.org.

Bluebell Wood shops are in Bakewell, Chapeltown, Chesterfield, Dinnington, Hellaby, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wombwell and Worksop.

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