We have a new face in our Dereham shop! Wayne Hammond is the new manager of our Big C charity shop in Dereham’s High Street; and very much looking forward to raising as much awareness and money for Norfolk’s cancer charity as he can.
And he has good reason for it. He is the dad of cancer patient Isobel, who was diagnosed with being blind in one eye when she was just a toddler, so he has first hand knowledge of the trauma the family is thrown into when cancer strikes.
On diagnosis, Isobel was instantly referred to hospital where on closer examination her condition was identified as a very rare and aggressive form of cancer of the eye, which resulted in the three year old having the eye removed.
Today daughter Isobel has not one, but two false eyes – a brown one for every day and a pink and purple “party eye”. “It is her incredible strength that drove us all forward,” said Wayne. “She was our strength for all we had to face. The hardest part for me was asking the consultant how he was going to tell her she had to have her eye removed. He said he wasn’t but I was. Imagine it: how you would respond to your daughter when she says “Daddy, why are you letting them take my eye?” Since that day she has been very open about her condition and recently asked to address her school assembly to tell them about her sight.
During her early treatment Wayne gave up his work to become a “house dad”. The family, who have two other children, had to make frequent trips to London to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, which was demanding both on their time and budget.
When Wayne learned how and why Big C began, it struck a chord with him.
Wayne’s immediate challenge is to build up his team of volunteers at the shop. Daily people generously donate items for sale and he is seeking volunteers to help a few hours a week to sort out, steam and hang the clothing on hangers and process the bags to find the hidden “gems” of household items that will all contribute to the work of Big C. “We need a really good team to enable us to turnaround stock quickly and get it out there for our customers to buy,” he said.
“They don’t need any training, just to be willing to pitch in and help process and help rotate the stock and if they want to work on the till or get involved with the merchandising we will be really happy to hear from them all,” he said.
To volunteer to be part of the Big C team in Dereham please visit Wayne on 10, High Street to pick up an application form or go to www.big-c.co.uk/volunteer to download the form and send to Big C, 10a Castle Meadow, Norwich, NR1 3DE.