The Cirencester Team of the Year at Sue Ryder keeps the customer satisfied
Continuing our series on the winners from the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, Charlotte Shepherd spoke to Carol Shirley, manager of the Team of the Year at the Sue Ryder charity shop.
“THE secret of our success is that we respect each other and care for each other as a team,” explained Carol Shirley, manager of the Sue Ryder charity shop in Cirencester’s Marketplace.
Carol, who has been manager at the shop for the last eight years, felt that her band of volunteers could be worthy winners of the Team of the Year title at the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Business Awards and the judges agreed with her.
“I entered the competition because we have the most fantastic team. The volunteers are the cogs in the wheel and keep us going. We are a motley crew ranging in age from 16 to 90. There is a real spectrum of ages but it works absolutely brilliantly.”
Four of the youngest volunteers are from Cirencester College. “It is lovely to have vibrant teenagers around,” said Carol.
And assistant manager Lucy Loquette is a formidable fundraiser for Sue Ryder and will be running next year’s London marathon for the charity.
There are around 29 Sue Ryder shops across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire alone, raising vital funds for the work that the charity carries out providing care to people living with complex long-term and end of life conditions.
The charity has one of its major hospices close by in Leckhampton. “Having the hospice so near to shop helps to bring it home to the team what we are doing it for,” explained Carol. “We have several customers who come into the shop to donate who have had family members there. It is very emotional for them and for us.”
Carol believes that good teamwork in the shop translates into good customer service, which is vital at a time when charity shops are fighting for their share of a crowded market. “We go that much further and many of our customers become friends. Having such a great team makes it all easy,” she said.