Big Hugs!

A Day in the Life of Supermarket Box Collector

George Stevenson1

George,  What made you want to volunteer with Lakelands in the first place?

“Years ago I heard about Vic Hardy and Jean Clarke, Lakelands founders trying to raise money to build a Corby Hospice. At the time I worked at Weetabix, who held a couple of fun days raising money for charity.  As I thought a hospice in Corby would be a really good idea I asked Weetabix to help raise funds through the fun days.  From there I started to do my own sponsored events, half marathons etc., donating sponsorship to the Charity.  Once the hospice was built and established I wanted to volunteer on a more formal basis but unfortunately family commitments wouldn’t allow it.  Following some sad events in our family life and the death of a loved one who used the hospice, my time was a little freer and I was able to become an official volunteer.  Having our own hospice in the town was pie in the sky in the early days but Jean and Vic did it!  Hard working paying off.” 

Why box collecting?  -

“I had been collecting from an early age when I went out with mother collecting for the blind.  We used to put envelopes through doors and then collect them at a later date. Getting half a crown would be great result back then.   I simply carried on as I got older.  I get a lot of pleasure collecting for a great cause that is close to my heart. Everything I have been involved in has been fun.  I love the role meeting so many nice people out there, although I must admit I can keep people talking too long!   It’s nice to hear about people’s lives.  Sometimes people ask about Lakelands and ask if there is anything else they can do for the hospice. I tell them all about the charity and hope they decide to volunteer or fundraise”

Do you feel awkward talking to members of the public?

“I’ve never felt awkward I have always got on with about 99% of people I come across. I used to work in holiday camps so I’ve always been used to talking with people so it’s never been a problem.  It gives me a chance to see people I haven’t seen for a long time. Sometimes I can speak to hundreds, others times just a few. .”

Do you feel a need to explain Lakelands or encourage individuals to donate?

“I don’t need to convince people to donate they should know by now exactly what Lakelands is all about.  Some people I see on a on a regular basis, pass me by heads down and walking quickly past.  That’s ok, they are perfectly entitled to do that.   My approach is to let me people come to me to donate and I wish them a nice day.  I don’t pester people.”  

How often do you volunteer as a box collector?

“Usually once or twice a month, depending upon the time of year but that’s my choice.  I enjoy it so much I help as much as I can”

What support do you get?

“Lakelands fundraising team are really helpful, there’s always someone to contact if there’s a problem and they listen to idea’s I have and public feedback I may be given.  If I am unable to participate on a particular date, that’s fine no problem.”

Would you recommend box collecting? Why? 

“Yes, I love it.  For elderly people it’s sometimes a little uncomfortable on the legs but we do have seats if necessary.  It’s only two hours and I always say to people to come and collect in the stores…  It’s a nice environment and a great opportunity to meet new people and build confidence.”

How long do you intend to carry on? 

“I will continue for as long as I can!”

If you could wish for one thing for Lakelands what would it be?

“Well besides the donations… That people would take a little more notice and volunteer more to help.” We are always short of box collectors which is such a shame.  It’s a really worthwhile role and you can see what a difference Lakelands makes to the public from speaking to them.”

What does Lakelands think of George?

“We are very proud to say that George is one of our longest standing volunteers.  His support to the Hospice has been fantastic.  Not only does he volunteer as a box collector, he gets involved in other fundraising events, directing traffic, selling raffle tickets, helping to set up venues ready for a bazaar, fete or shows and so on.  He is a great ambassador for Lakelands and we think he is fantastic!”

Interested in volunteering?

Not sure if box collecting is for you?  Why not contact us for a trial where you will be able to work with another volunteer who will be able to provide assistance and answer any questions you may have…  It’s only two hours and you could meet George! J

Please contact Jackie our volunteer Co-ordinator on Tel: 01536 747755 / Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.