It’s not often that you can say that there’s someone who truly deserves success but that is the case with Phyllis Jones, a 60 year old retail manager at St. Kentigern Hospice who is planning to expand on an already impressive chain of shops.
Phyllis has been with St Kentigern Hospice since eight years ago and enjoyed the distinction of being the Help the Hospices Hospice Retail Staff Member of the Year for 2013. Statistics have shown that Phyllis’ work at the shops has improved turnover by a staggering three hundred percent and has also been an integral help for increase in shops from eight to twelve.
You’d think that the mother of two and grandmother of three would be slowing down but that is not the case as Phyllis is now racing ahead with plans to open shops in Colwyn Bay and Holywell.
“I think they were looking for somebody who had made a difference, come up with new ideas, and we’re always looking for new ideas,” said Phyllis, “You can’t stand still. You’ve got to evolve all of the time.
“I think because I didn’t have the managers I stood out, because we’re succeeding, we’re trading up year on year without managers so it’s getting people to work for you.
“We have a wonderful eBay site. It is very interesting. It is run completely by a team of volunteers and it is doing very well.”
Phyllis is head of a 260 strong volunteer base who each work for nothing alongside a small but equally driven paid staff force. She had this to say on her team’s impact: “It’s very much a team effort. There is a big team of people out there supporting Phyllis Jones.
“I got the award but believe me, it’s a team award. It’s for everybody because when you’re running the amount of shops that we’re running and a big depot, one person can’t do it.
“It was an absolute shock to be nominated never mind to win. I didn’t even know that I’d been nominated so it really was a shock.
“I’m a people person. I do my best, and I think what you need to do in any job is to make a difference.”
Phyllis also paid huge dues from the local community who she says have been a huge help since she started in her position at St. Kentigern: “We rely on donated goods. We buy very little. We buy Christmas cards, the odd pen, but that’s about it.
“Most of what we sell has been donated, and donated by people who obviously care very deeply about the hospice because the goods we’re given is of such good quality.
“It’s a reflection on the community. It’s marvellous because we’re not a wealthy area, and to think we get things like beautiful three piece suites in and we get brand new gifts.
“They do a fantastic job at supporting people at St Kentigern. It’s a very special place.”
For more information about the hospice and how to make a donation, go to www.stkentigernhospice.org.uk or ring 01745 585221.