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My Aico in the Community Experience with Garden House Hospice

Written by:
Tristan Potkins
Posted On:
12th January 2024

Aico in the Community’ provides all our colleagues 4 days per year to support local organisations. Through this provision, we help schools and charities to achieve their goals, alleviating their concern surrounding time and resources.

Through this initiative I had the pleasure of participating in a volunteer day with the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth.

Garden House Hospice Care provides free specialist palliative care for patients, families and carers facing life limiting illness across North Hertfordshire, Stevenage, Central Bedfordshire, and Cambridgeshire. Their highly experienced doctors and nurses have granted Garden House specialists in a wide range of roles, from complementary physiotherapy to occupational therapy and spiritual care.

My day started with a tour around their new depot, which is bigger than their previous unit and inclusive of another shop, which will be opening to the public directly out of the depot. The day involved supporting in the warehouse. This included things like building racking, labelling up the fire call points/exits, supporting with making sure the shelving units were put up on top of the storage, and more importantly, learning as much as I could about the operational and logistical side of the hospice by speaking to the different departments and volunteers.


The hospice needs over £5m to operate, with a third coming from the government, another third coming from their own fundraising and events, and the other third coming from their shops of which there are 13.

I naively thought the shops just sold what was donated, but to learn, see and be involved with the process of taking in the donations, sorting them, grouping them, repackaging them and then the subsequent redistribution required, is quite incredible. Some things that don’t make it to the shops are sold on sites such as eBay and Vinted, not to mention repurposing/restoring! The hospice now also has an upcycle department which makes good use of low-quality items that even charity shops cannot sell in their condition.

Garden House Hospice is very important to me and my family. Having the opportunity to volunteer and help as part of my employment with Aico is something I do not take for granted.

Harry Folgate, Fundraising Co-Ordinator, Corporate & Groups commented

“On behalf of Garden House Hospice Care, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Tristan for coming down to volunteer at our depot. Our charity heavily relies on the kindness of our volunteers to give up their time to support us and we’re very grateful for the help we had from Tristan in getting the warehouse ready for the VIP opening that day. We have to raise £9700 every day to fund our services and achieving this target would not be possible if we didn’t have fantastic support from local workplaces who join us for their CSR volunteering days. Thank you very much Tristan. Please feel free to come back and visit us again soon!”


To read more about Aico in the Community, visit

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