Nurses from The Hospice of St Francis greeted customers, volunteers and donors at the charity’s Abbots Langley shop on Saturday, thanking them in person for helping the popular village hub to take over £3 million in two decades for hospice care as it celebrated its 20th birthday with a tea party, raffle and 20% off all items.
From the moment the store opened at 9am, it was packed with customers picking up birthday bargains, donations flying through the door and long-serving shop volunteers Margaret Slann and Jean Dean receiving 20-year long-service certificates.
“Gill, who is part of our Hospice kitchen team, made a fabulous lemon drizzle 20th birthday cake served together with lots of cupcakes, which went down a treat,” said Sarah Coles, the Hospice’s Head of Trading. “It was a real community event, full of excitement, enthusiasm and pride in the shop.
Shop Manager Charlotte Gilks and Assistant Manager Trevor South together with volunteers had been planning the event for weeks and it was our way of saying thank you to everyone who’s been part of our journey.
It’s been a privilege to be part of the success story of our Abbots shop. Locally, it’s known as the Harrods of Abbots because of the range and quality of donated items and the great customer service provided by all our loyal staff and volunteers - many of whom have been with us for years, including Jean and Margaret who received their 20-year long-service certificates.
We love the support of our local community and couldn’t do what we do without it so thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us, helping us raise over £1,200 on the day, which goes directly to fund our care.”
The shop was the first the Hospice opened in 1999 and since then, it has sold over one million items, donated by over 200,000 generous local people in over 306,000 bags to over half a million customers.
It is now one of six charity shops in the Hospice’s trading portfolio in addition to its award-winning number twenty gift shop, its re-loved furniture showroom Returned to Glory (both in Berkhamsted) as well as its popular eBay store, bringing in an annual profit for the Hospice of over £0.5m.
To find out more about the Hospice, which needs to raise over £5m every year to help people facing life-limiting illness to live their precious lives well, visit stfrancis.org.uk