50th St Peter's Hospice charity shop opens

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St Peter’s Hospice is celebrating the opening of its 50th high street charity shop with the launch of a shop in Hartcliffe.

 

The charity opened its first shop on Wells Rd, Knowle in 1981 and has gone on to become an award-winning chain and the largest charity retailer in the South West. Funds raised in the shops goes towards caring for people with life-limiting illnesses as well as supporting family members with counselling, advice and therapy.

As well as 50 local shops, St Peter’s Hospice has 65 textile banks across Bristol with over 750,000 bags generously donated every year. Raising over £2.2 million every year, which goes towards patient care, the shops are run by managers and over 1200 volunteers.

St Peter’s Hospice head of retail, Paul Chivers, said: “We are proud to be the most successful charity retail chain in Bristol and a major retail employer in the city. Our award-winning model has been replicated by other charities across the UK and the opening of our 50th shop just goes to show how important our shops have become to the people of Bristol and surrounding district.

“Of course, behind everything we do is the aim of making our patients’ lives easier and more comfortable. We aim to improve the quality of their living and dying while extending care and support to their families and loved ones.

“We’re so grateful to everyone who buys our goods, volunteers their time and donates unwanted items – without you we couldn’t keep up our vital service.”

The new Hartcliffe shop is being officially opened by original St Peter’s Hospice nurses, Eileen Davies and Carole Jenkins, who worked for the charity in 1978 and were at the opening of the first ever St Peter’s Hospice shop in Knowle in 1981. Joining Eileen and Carole is

St Peter’s Hospice Community Nurse Specialist Abbi Roper who covers the South Bristol area, providing medical and emotional support to patients. Also attending will be Ann Browning and Mildred Ford who both volunteered at the first St Peter’s Hospice shop.

The shop will stock everything from womenswear, menswear and childrenswear to accessories, books, homeware and toys all at a fraction of the original price.

Servicing the communities of Hartcliffe, Withywood and Bishopsworth the shop will be managed by Debra Barnes, who says local volunteers will be vital in ensuring the success of the shop.

Debra said: “It is wonderful to be opening the 50th St Peter’s Hospice shop in Hartcliffe! Over the years these shops have become a staple of the high street, providing customers with a place to bag a bargain at the same time as supporting a local cause close to many people’s hearts.

“We’re really looking forward to becoming part of the community in Hartcliffe; so far people have really been getting behind us so we’re hopeful that we manage to attract some lovely volunteers to help with the running of the shop.

“We’re looking for a variety of people with different skills from those who are happy covering the tills, who may not be so physically active, to people working behind the scenes hanging and steaming our stock ready to be put on display. We’re also looking for people who are computer literate who can help with our Ebay store and Gift Aid scheme.

“Without the help of volunteers who generously donate their time, be it a couple of hours a week, we would not be able to run our award-winning chain of stores and continue helping families who need us.”

As Bristol’s only adult hospice, St Peter’s Hospice cares for more than 2,000 patients each year as well as supporting family members.

All services are provided free of charge but this care costs around £19,000 a day. For around £14,000 of that, the hospice relies on gifts in wills, kind donations and funds generated by the hospice shops.

To find out more about St Peter’s Hospice please visit www.stpetershospice.org

To find out more about volunteering at the Hartcliffe shop email debra.barnes@stpetershospice.org

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