Grandfather urges others to help at Huthwaite shop to keep ‘vital’ charity alive

Jeff Bowler who is appealing for more volunteers for the charity Hetty's.
Jeff Bowler who is appealing for more volunteers for the charity Hetty's.

A grandfather whose life was turned upside down when he had to look after his grandchildren full time is praising the efforts of Hetty’s Charity - and is urging others to help donate their time to avoid the charity from collapsing.

Hetty’s Charity provides financial help as well as advice and support for those taking on children after their parents have abused drugs or alcohol, but is solely funded through grants and cash made at its three charity shops.

Jeff Bowler (65) volunteers at the Donate and Dazzle Huthwaite shop and said it was thanks to the service that he and his partner were able to cope after his grandchildren and to come and live with him.

He said; “Me and my wife were living off a pension so when my two grandchildren came to live with us, we really struggled to make the cash stretch from catering for two people, to four.

“We literally had nothing such as bedding, or furniture or clothing for them.

“It was a really tough time, and we didn’t really know where to turn.”

He sound out about the Hetty charity - which was set up in 1996 by a group of women who had struggled with loved-ones drug and alcohol abuse.

Jeff said it was because of the charity he managed to cope with the new changes.

“If it wasn’t for Hetty’s I don’t know what I would have done or where I would have turned. That’s why I volunteer here now to help others in that situation.

“It is a vital charity but we are self-funded and need people to volunteer at the shop otherwise, we might be forced to close. Which would be awful. We need to keep this going.”

Debbie Knowles, manager of Hetty’s said she hopes the charity could be self sufficient - generating money from the shops.

“We really need people to volunteer, but it’s important we are putting back into the community. It can be an opportunity for service users as well.

“We do have a lot of success but want this continue for years to come. Any businesses that could help us out would be fantastic, or if anyone want to volunteer at the shops that is a great way to help as well.”

Contact Debbie on 01623 643476 or visit for more information.