John - Bookshop Volunteer | The Hospice of St. Francis

John - Bookshop Volunteer

Our Chapter Two bookshop has had a fantastic influx of volunteers since they reopened their doors in April! John, from Chesham, is a civil servant and volunteers at the bookshop since June 2020.

He works as Head of Internal Communications at the Cabinet Office during the week and volunteers with the shop on Saturday afternoons. He’s nicknamed ‘The King of the Lottery’ through the enormous numbers of Hospice Lottery tickets he sells through the till!

Mainly staffing the till, John says, “I love seeing what books customers have found and chatting with them… In addition, of course, suggesting they might like to buy a lottery ticket!

I was inspired to volunteer as I have always thought about how I could do more in my community. However, with a 9 to 5 London-based job, I could never find the time. Chapter Two is perfect for my busy agenda.

A bookshop, a lockdown reset of my commuting habits and the Hospice where I have faithfully entered the lottery for a number of years, (that jackpot will come my way some day!) helped me fulfil my aspiration to support a local organisation.

The most rewarding aspect is that I’m able to support a brilliant charity by doing something I really love.”

In his day job, John heads up an internal communication team that covers 2,000 plus Fast Stream graduates and 200 staff. John explains, “The Civil Service Fast Stream is its flagship leadership development programme, developing people from a wide range of backgrounds who have the potential to become CS future senior leaders.

There are 15 schemes, each within a profession. There are over 2,000 people on the programme working across the UK. Around 200 staff support the programme. They look after recruitment, development and end scheme activities. They also work on other emerging talent areas like apprenticeships.”

Ignited by lockdown, John also found a new passion for cycling, “I have the all-consuming passion of a late convert,” He adds… “The Chilterns have certainly made me fit through cycling.

Asking about his fondest memories at the shop, John responds… “I’ve had some conversations with customers who have experienced the Hospice through loved ones. It is heart-warming to hear how fondly they recall the care given. Therefore, it is a great buzz to feel that I am supporting their fabulous work.”

We asked John about his favourite book… he concludes, “That is not a question to ask someone who works in a bookshop! I’m going to cheat and say the Wolf Hall trilogy, but really I’m thinking in what genre?

#YourPreciousLife #WeLoveYourSupport

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