By Peter Ravlich
The three community days that APN Print offers to employees have let Lloyd Widdison follow his wife's example in supporting Mercy Hospice Auckland, who provide free palliative care and Hospice services to residents of the Auckland District Health Board region facing life-limiting illnesses.
"Like many people, we hardly knew the Hospice existed before Denise's mum entered their care.
"After we went through that, she volunteered first, then I decided to use my three days and follow her."
Lloyd has been assisting in the Blockhouse Bay Hospice Shop, with a mixed bag of tasks - from helping donors unload their cars, to sorting goods and shifting stock within the store. "I got to do bits of everything," he remembers - but it's not over yet.
"You put yourself aside for a good cause like this, and it's not just for the three days. I'll be following through with the Hospice in the future.
"The Hospice touches people, becomes a part of your life, and you can't turn your back on that."
Another APN staffer has also volunteered to support Hospice work, and Lloyd said there’s a lot of potential out there. "People often don't realise they can donate to the Hospice shops, or know where to drop things off. Part of what I'm doing is raising awareness about the ways people can help."
With six Hospice Shops and one furniture store throughout the central suburbs, Mercy Hospice Auckland is always keen to locate volunteers. Anyone interested can contact Julie Reid, the Volunteer Co-ordinator, on 09 361 5966. To find out about donating your surplus goods to the stores, shopping for quality new and second-hand goods and store locations, click here.
Hospice staff have expressed their appreciation of APN's three community days, which have already made such a positive impact on the Blockhouse Bay store. In Lloyd's opinion, however, it's been a two-way street: "It's great to have the opportunity to give back to an organisation that was there when we needed them."
Mercy Hospice Auckland opened its newest shop in January at Mt Roskill's bustling retail centre at 22 Stoddard Road (just along from the Coffee Club and next to the soon to be opened ASB) on Monday 16th January. » Read more
Skip the shopping mall madness and pop into our Ellerslie Mercy Hospice Shops at 188 Ladies Mile where you'll find a treasure trove of unique quality recycled and end of line clothing, home-ware, furniture and electrical appliances. Our Ellerslie shops will be opening longer between 9am to 6pm on Wednesday 21 December to give you more time to find that special gift.