A kind-hearted volunteer has found love again after helping at Hospice West Auckland - and has now married a man who she first served from behind the counter.

Sally Hancock, 72, began helping out at the palliative care centre after her husband passed away from cancer in 2010.

"My husband was cared for by the [Te Atatu] hospice, and the staff there looked after both of us so well," Sally said.

"I was really keen to give something back to the organisation which had done so much for me, so I joined up as a volunteer.


"I went straight to the New Lynn [op shop] and have been there since - I love it."

Then one day in 2014, Ross Hancock, 80, came in to donate some goods to the shop and Sally served him.

Unbeknown to her he was good friends with another volunteer and he asked her for Sally's number.

"Of course, she wouldn't give it to him," laughs Sally. "So he came back in the next week and slipped me a note with his phone number, suggesting we meet up for a coffee.

"I remembered Ross because he is tall and very distinguished looking."

Mum-of-two Sally - who will become a great-grandmother for the first time next month - took six weeks to get the courage up to call Ross.

"Do you know, when I did finally ring he'd forgotten who I was, so I nearly hung up the phone," she said. "He remembered eventually, and we went on to meet for coffee and a movie."

The pair continued seeing each other and an unexpected romance soon blossomed.

After a two-year courtship, the lovebirds tied the knot at the RSA in New Lynn in November.

"I feel extremely blessed and lucky," Sally said. "Now I always tell people you can get anything at a Hospice West op shop, including a new husband!"

The couple now can't wait to set sail on Friday on a honeymoon cruise around New Zealand and Australia.

"It's a dream come true for me, and we are so happy," Sally added. "This year we have decided just to give each other a card on Valentine's Day because the cruise is the best present we could have."