Friends’ commitment to cancer charity and community marked by Hospice shop

Two decades of dedication to Hospice

By Claire Tennyson

TWO South Belfast pensioners are celebrating 20 years working for the Northern Ireland Hospice on the Ormeau Road.

Una McErlane, aged 84, and Mabel Lloyd, aged 70, started volunteering for the charity shop when it first opened two decades ago.

Speaking to the South Belfast News, Una from Deramore Avenue, said after she retired she wanted to give something back to the community and was ‘delighted’ when she heard they were looking for staff.

“I worked as a typist and book-keeper for a solicitor’s when I was young but always wanted to give something back to those who are less fortunate than myself.”

Una works Thursday afternoon in the shop while her friend Mabel covers the morning shift, taking transactions, putting out new stock and helping customers with any queries.

Mabel, from Newtownbreda, told the South Belfast News she has “always enjoyed helping charities and finds it very rewarding.”

“Myself and my husband used to work on the MS Society fundraising committee and would have often attended craft fairs donating drapery samples.”

The duo are held in high regard by the manager, Anne Cheyne, who described them as ‘lovely ladies’.

“I have been here for two years and Mabel and Una come in here every week without fail to cover their shift. They both know the area very well and are great with all the customers.”

Una and Mabel encouraged everyone to become involved in volunteering in their local community.

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