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Tui is one of the wonderful retail volunteers at the Kumeū Hospice Op Shop. Every week she spends a day sorting, pricing and merchandising the newly donated items, as well as serving customers and ensuring the shop always looks clean, tidy and well-presented. “I’m really enjoying it,” she says. “I learn something new almost every day and everyone is so helpful and friendly.”

As a keen op shopper herself, Tui uses her experience to organise different areas and highlight items which will appeal most to the Kumeū shoppers. “We find that designer labels, active wear and furniture are really popular,” she says.

Situated in Kumeū’s busy business hub at 46 Main Road, the Kumeū Hospice Op Shop has quickly developed a reputation for high-quality goods at bargain prices. The furniture and housewares are particularly sought after – although all items turn over quickly due to their excellent condition and variety. “The turnover here is really high, which is good,” says Tui. “And I like that the store is easy to move around in, it’s spacious. The parking at the back is good too, it’s convenient and means you can drop donations in easily.”

As Tui settled into retirement, she found she missed her routine and the regular contact and purpose that comes from being part of a team. Volunteering at the Hospice Op Shop has given her the ideal opportunity to be part of a friendly, close-knit crew who all believe in Hospice’s cause. “It’s good to do your bit for the community,” she says.

Tui has been a part of the Huapai/Kumeū community for almost 40 years, and loves having a volunteering role that is so connected to the district. Each shift is a constant flow of both new and familiar faces. “The area has changed so much, it’s amazing to see how many new families there are – and it’s good to see them op shopping,” says Tui.

Like so many Hospice volunteers, Tui has her own personal connection to the organisation. Her mum was under Hospice care several years ago, and she remembers that once Hospice stepped in, they were fully supported to keep her at home. “We appreciated each home visit as we learned more about the transitioning process of Mum’s journey, and with Hospice’s help we could support Mum to feel more comfortable during this time,” Tui explains. “And the help didn’t end when she passed – the support continued. Hospice stayed in touch.”

Hospice West Auckland has over 200 retail volunteers who help to keep the seven Hospice Op Shops across the wider West Auckland region running smoothly. If you are interested in volunteering for Hospice, please visit