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The latest addition to our retail offering is The Retail Hub, where preparations are well underway at the Eastern Counties Leather Industrial Estate between Sawston and Pampisford.
We hope to be able to accept donations from mid-October, and plan to open for browsing and buying from the start of November (watch this space).
Whilst the retail team are busily at work getting telephone lines and technology installed, sorting out signage and decor, cleaning up, organising stock and processes (and so much more!) we took the opportunity to speak to our Medical Director Lorraine Petersen, to get her thoughts on this exciting extension to our charity shop line-up….
Are you excited to see that the Charity is opening a Retail Hub?
I am really pleased that The Retail Hub will soon be opening for business. Having a central place where donations can be received, stored and sorted before distribution to our shops will ensure that we have a constant supply of quality merchandise. The Retail Hub will also be a convenient place to deposit larger items and allow the range of merchandise to become more varied.
What will the funds raised through The Retail Hub be used for?
Our charity shops are one of the ways we secure vital funds for the Hospice. All our clinical services continue to operate and our community services (seeing people at home/remotely via video or telephone) have become much busier during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds that are raised from The Retail Hub are needed in addition to statutory NHS funding, because this funding currently only covers around 50% of our actual costs. We need to raise the rest through other sources. The majority of the money goes directly into clinical care with a small but necessary proportion allocated to all the support services that allow us to operate at the standards required and expected of us.
What other benefits do you think The Retail Hub will have for our community?
The Arthur Rank Hospice Charity is part of the community and since the start of the pandemic, this has become even more apparent. We were bowled over by the amount of support we received and the willingness of all our colleagues, volunteers and supporters to go above and beyond in order to keep our services going. Whilst The Retail Hub supports our work, I hope that it also supports the community in return, by providing a space for people to donate items that may otherwise have ended up in landfill, and to purchase some special pre-loved items.
Thank you to Lorraine for taking time out of her day to talk to us.. and for her lovely bag donations which may be available to purchase from The Retail Hub or one of our other charity shops very soon!