Rosie started volunteering for Above & Beyond five years ago after moving to Bristol. She is known as the 'Hub Queen'

Until the Covid-19 shut down I was volunteering in the Above & Beyond shop in the Bristol Royal Infirmary; I was in the shop one day a week but also took care of stock and orders and made a number of hand made items for sale. Since shut down I have launched an Etsy shop (BristolMadebyRosie) to sell my crafts with all profits going to the Bristol City Centre Hospitals Appeal.

I first volunteered for Above & Beyond in March 2015 after moving to Bristol from Norwich. The charity has such a welcoming atmosphere and was just what I needed in order to find a new focus and friendships in a new city.

A large part of the charity’s fundraising relies on volunteers in many different roles. I think the shop has also helped to raise awareness of Above & Beyond both amongst staff and visitors to the hospital which obviously has a knock-on effect on fundraising and on applications for funds from hospital staff. In the shop, as well as crafts, we sell a huge number of second hand books to patients, staff and visitors which, according to comments we receive, are greatly appreciated. My fellow volunteers and I really like to chat to all our customers which is hopefully therapeutic to us and them!

Although I had always enjoyed sewing and knitting, I did not realise just how much other people would appreciate my work; the huge number of sales I have made in the BRI shop has really boosted my self-esteem and given me a really enjoyable pastime in retirement. Volunteering for a very worthwhile charity also gives me a real sense of wellbeing through feeling I am helping and seeing the heartwarming results of so many projects within our hospitals. I hope that by always doing my best to maintain a thriving shop and communicating the charity’s work, I am making a difference.

Every volunteer has a different personality and set of skills and the only way you find your perfect volunteer setting is by giving it a go! Once you have found that slot, you will benefit as much as the charity. Above & Beyond is such a friendly and supportive place to be - I couldn’t recommend it more!

Rosie is continuing to raise funds for Above & Beyond during lockdown with her crafts normally sold in the Fundraising Hub. Gifts featured on the Bristol Made by Rosie shop include purses, zip bags, aprons (child and adult), tote bags and face masks.