Published Monday 16th October 2023

Graham Lewis is unequivocal when it comes to his role as a St Michael’s Hospice Retail Driver.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had – I wish I’d done it years ago.”

Graham, together with his colleague and friend, Del Cunningham, can often be seen traversing the beautiful yet winding roads of north Herefordshire – and sometimes further afield – picking up furniture donations from supporters, and dropping off bulky items bought through our shops.

It’s an enjoyable job, and one which gives Retail Drivers the perfect chance to meet our supporters, and find out their connection to St Michael’s. The pair describe the role as immensely rewarding, yet it also has a poignant element too.

“Often, we are the first person linked to St Michael’s that donors would have seen since a loved one’s death,” says Del. “That can be very hard for them, and it’s not uncommon for people to get upset when they say goodbye to items such as a particular piece of furniture they might associate with that person.

“It’s moments like this that really bring it home to you how different this role is. “But it also helps you feel really close to the care that St Michael’s provides, and it’s humbling to think others will benefit from the care donors have experienced because of these kind donations.”

Graham says meeting donors is his favourite part of the job.

“Many are repeat donors, so we get to know them very well,” he says.

Collection items are varied, with recent trips including an old bread maker so big the drivers only just managed to fit it in the van, to a golf buggy. But Del and Graham say donor generosity is so often evident.

“There was one lady who was downsizing and said we could take all the furniture in two of her downstairs rooms,” added Del. “It was all pretty new Laura Ashley stuff, which must have been worth thousands of pounds. We couldn’t believe it. On the whole, people are so generous and thankful. It’s just one of the many reasons why this is such a rewarding job, and I love it.”

To keep an eye on forthcoming driver vacancies, just click here https://www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk/vacancies/

WATCH DEL AND GRAHAM’S VIDEO BELOW