Warm welcome for new Midhurst charity shop

Peter Stoakley cutting the ribbon with chief executive Alison Moorey
Peter Stoakley cutting the ribbon with chief executive Alison Moorey
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CUSTOMERS queued excitedly before the opening of a new charity shop in Midhurst.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice has taken over the former Fraser’s Menswear shop in North Street and the ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by trustee Peter Stoakley on Wednesday.

Hospice trustee Peter Stoakley and shop manager Anna Mitchell

Hospice trustee Peter Stoakley and shop manager Anna Mitchell

He told the crowd that had formed before the 10am opening that it was his great pleasure to open the shop.

“As a trustee of St Wilfrid’s Hospice and the chairman of the retail committee, it’s my great pleasure to open our new charity shop in Midhurst this morning,” he said.

“St Wilfrid’s is a local charity providing palliative and end-of-life care that is excellent, specialist and free of charge to those who are in great need.

“We offer inpatient and day care to patients in West Sussex who reside north of the Downs, who are given community support by the Midhurst Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Team, who we are proud to work closely with.

The new St Wilfrid's Hospice shop in Midhurst

The new St Wilfrid's Hospice shop in Midhurst

“Sometimes people do want to die in a hospice rather than at home so we are proud to offer this possibility to people from the Midhurst area, in consultation with the Midhurst Macmillan team.”

He explained that the hospice receives only 13 per cent of its funding from the NHS, so relies on public donations to meet the rest of the running costs, amounting to £6.7million this year.

This is the charity’s 12th shop to open and, along with the online operation, it aims to raise growing and significant sums towards patient care.

Mr Stoakley continued: “My thanks to all the staff and volunteers for their hard work in preparing the shop and for the local community for their warm welcome. I wish you happy shopping and donating from today onwards.”

The shop stocks a selection of good-quality clothes, accessories, books, bric-a-brac and small pieces of furniture.

Shop manager Anna Mitchell was delighted with the response for the shop.

“We have had such a warm welcome from the community, the shop is very busy and we are so excited about the future,” she said.

The hospice currently has eight traditional charity shops, three furniture outlets and a specialist Retro and Vintage shop, which all contribute much-needed funds towards the operating costs of the hospice.

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