Festive boost for hospice charity shops is a good start to 2014, but donations still needed

The Hospice of St Francis Love to Give charity shops.
The Hospice of St Francis Love to Give charity shops.

The Hospice of St Francis says the success of the Christmas period in its retail stores does not mean the charity can be complacent in 2014.

The Northchurch-based hospice’s nine Love to Give shops, including its specialist Returned to Glory store in Berkhamsted, reported an upbeat trading performance in the weeks up to December 28.

The overall trading income was up nine per cent on the same period last year, with the specialist outlets reporting an increase of 19 per cent.

The hospice’s trading and operations director Helen Harding said: ““While I am absolutely delighted with these results, which mark a really positive performance in a tough trading environment, we can’t be complacent as we look forward to 2014.

“There is a great challenge in retail and we are very reliant on local people for their support. Donated items are the lifeblood, which drive our sales and people are now keeping items for longer rather than buying new.

“To ensure buoyant trading which translates into care for our hospice I would urge everyone to please continue to pass on all unwanted items to us, especially clothes.

“Our retail outlets are a valuable income stream for the hospice and our profits go directly towards supporting our care for people with life-shortening illnesses in West Herts and Bucks.

“In just nine weeks, our retail arm has enabled us to keep a bed open for a year and fund a number of weeks of nursing care.”

The hospice has shops in Abbots and Kings Langley, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Highfield, Marlowes, Chesham, Harpenden and St Albans.

The newest addition to the Hospice retail group, its Kings Langley shop, also performed ‘very well’ in its first four months of trading.