A new charity shop in the centre of Berkhamsted has got off to a roaring start since it swung open its doors just in time for last weekend.
The Keech Hospice Care store is double the size of a normal one – with traditional items like bric-a-brac on one side and a home interiors collection on the other.
Spokesman Mel Barry said: “We really do want our Berkhamsted store to stand out and be our flagship store.
“We want it to be a bit different and sell really lovely things.”
The Lower Kings Road shop is the charity’s 32nd to open its doors – 17 of the others are in elsewhere in Herts, including in Hemel Hempstead, Albans and Harpenden.
Keech Hospice Care is an adult and children’s hospice based in Luton. It supports adults living in Luton and south Bedfordshire and children and their families living in Herts, Beds and Milton Keynes.
It is the only hospice for seriously sick children in Herts.
Mel said: “We deliver a range of services to children and their families including respite care, day services, community services, sibling support, music and art therapy, counselling and bereavement support. We provide care in the hospice or in the family’s home if they prefer.
“There is quite a bit of difference in caring for adults and children. All hospices have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. They are either register just for adults, just for children, or like us – for both.
“We care for children up to their 19th birthday. The knowledge and skills of the nurses is very different depending on if they care for adults or children.
“So, to care for children they need to be registered qualified pediatric nurses. It is not just the nursing staff that is different, but also the types of equipment that are typically used will be very different for children.
“The environment at the hospice is also very different. Our adult unit has a very different feel to the children’s unit, which is bright and colourful, with murals on the wall and lots of sensory toys etc.
“Because the causes of illness and death for children are so different from those of adults, pediatric palliative care and treatments are also different.
“For adults the majority of patients have cancer, neurological disease, respiratory disease or heart failure. For children it is often very complex, genetic conditions they have – so they have very complex healthcare needs. The numbers of children with cancer we see are a very small percentage of the total children we care for.
“For children we have a play therapist who visits families in their own home. She works with the families and they set objectives to help the children via play. We also have a specialist social worker for children, which would be very different to providing support to adults.
“Finally a child could be engaged with our services for many, many years. Whereas for an adult it would usually be a couple of years only.”
> To donate or volunteer your time at the shop, ring 01442 863893 or pop in and ask for more information.