We are celebrating after opening our latest community retail store.
Our network of 28 community shops in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales bring in more than £1million for the charity each year. These were forced to close during lockdown.
But last month, we opened our newest shop – our 29th – in Arleston, Telford.
And the shop, a former car parts store which had stood empty for three years, is stocked with thousands of items donated by our generous supporters.
Manager Lucy Anderson-Woods and her team welcomed their first customers through the doors at 10am on opening day.
“It was great to see everyone,” said Lucy. “We’ve been really looking forward to opening day and have been busy preparing for it. The shop has been totally renovated, repainted, and refitted.
“Being in charge of the 29th Severn Hospice shop is a real honour and it is great to meet people when they come in to buy and have a good rummage on our shelves and rails or visit us to drop off their donations.
“Arleston is a lovely vibrant community and we have been made to feel so welcome. I am sure that with the level of support we have already received, our shop is going to be a success. We are opening slightly earlier, at 8.30am and we hope this will attract people either on their way to work or on the school run.”
Ross Henderson, head of retail, added: “It will take time for anything to feel like it used to as we come out of the pandemic, but throughout it all we have had amazing support from our loyal customers and donors.
“To be opening our 29th shop is another massively positive step.
“Our community shops bring in vital funds for our charity and it is thanks to our incredible supporters that we are able to care for as many people as we do.
“The care we provide to thousands of people with incurable illness is free of charge and is only made possible by funds raised by our shops, events and donations.”
Performing the ribbon cutting were Outreach nurses Pia Thompson and Charlotte Roberts who see patients and families from the Arleston and Wellington area.
Amongst the first through the door were Kelsey and Rio Robinson and their six-month-old daughter Isabella. “We’d seen there was going to be a Severn Hospice shop here and we couldn’t wait for it to open,” said Kelsey. “We’ve long supported the hospice, a few of our relatives have been cared for there and my mum takes part in the lottery. We will be regulars here as it is our way of supporting the hospice too.”
Local councillor Angela McClements also popped in. “When I heard that Severn Hospice was opening a shop here, I thought it was amazing and that it would be fantastic for the area. A shop like this is needed. There are vulnerable families here and to have this here is great for them. We have a very diverse population here in Arleston and I can imagine that a shop like this will do very well indeed.”
The shop will be open 8.30am-4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday.