40 Faces of hospice care | Meet Carol Chandler, a Shop Manager at St Barnabas

1st September 2023

A lady, Carol Chandler, who is a Shop Manager at St Barnabas Hospice, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

After 27 years, the St Barnabas shop on Monk’s Road Lincoln is like a second home for Carol. She joined the team in 1995 as a volunteer, encouraged by her friend who was the manager at the time. Growing up helping in her parent’s shop stood her in good stead for the role!

Working on the shop floor most days and covering for the manager on her days off meant Carol quickly learnt everything there was to know about running the charity shop. And soon, she was covering days off at St Barnabas shops across the city.

The retail team spotted Carol’s expertise and offered her a manager job at The Forum shop in Lincoln. But after four months, her friend moved on from Monk’s Road and Carol returned as a manager to her first shop. And she’s been there ever since, celebrating her 25th year as manager in 2022!

Carol is a people-person and listening to customers’ life stories is part of the job for her. She loves meeting new customers just as much as she enjoys chatting with the gentleman who visits weekly to buy a new shirt for his karaoke night! Carol is savvy when it comes to making the shop successful too – moving items around the shop so they get spotted, filling the shelves and rails with best sellers and keeping the sale rail full with bargains, meaning more sales and funds for patient care.

Not everything makes it onto the sales floor though. Carol has had to deal with a deep fat fryer and questionable ‘extracurricular’ accessories among other things!

Alongside her shop work, Carol has also supported the lottery and fundraising teams and now works alongside them in her shop manager role. Having seen St Barnabas’ care first-hand when her grandad was looked after in his own home, she knows the difference her work makes in giving people the choice to be cared for wherever they prefer.

The Monk’s Road shop has played a big part in Carol’s working life, but it’s also featured quite heavily in her personal life. A chance conversation over 23 years ago with a young man visiting the shop for a chat with his friend, the then-manager, led to marriage and a family for Carol! Thankfully, Carol is still part of the St Barnabas family too.

In her own words… “I love the shop – it’s like my third baby, but I wouldn’t be able to run it without my team of volunteers. Thanks to them I can take time off knowing the shop will still be open and raising money for the care we provide.”

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