It’s not Goodbye, it’s see you later….

Hi to everyone, I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these unprecedented times?

On Monday this week ( which now seems eons ago is it really only Thursday?) the decision was made to close all of our shops until it is possible to trade again safely . Those who can work from home are to do so.

Although the Hospice is an essential service, as a non-essential category of shops we needed to close our doors.

This has felt so strange, to have to cease doing what is a dedicated passion, mothball our shops and lock up and walk away. I think we all feel that our shops are our babies.

Pictured above is the drawer where all of my volunteer’s lanyards are all parked up. I will be so happy to see them all back in the shop.

Suddenly plans for upcoming window display , rotas and of course seeing our customers and volunteers daily , plus the routine of banking , sorting donations and all of the “normal” everyday tasks have stopped.

We feel lost , sad for those who are poorly, worried and anxious about how the months ahead will pan out.

But we are busy bees while working from home , planning and preparing for the wonderful moment when we flip the CLOSED sign to OPEN again.

We are busy studying relevant courses and qualifications, and mandatory training .

Our fab Barrow Warehouse staff are working with the local community supporting the Barrow Hub delivering essential supplies to those who are self isolating.

We are keeping positive and adjusting to our new at home roles. This is my set up today , bit of a change from sorting bags of donations!

With the staying at home coinciding with the first really nice spell of weather it has been an excellent opportunity to crack on with all the jobs that usually get left due to lack of time.

Whilst you are self-isolating are you planning a spring clean, sorting all those cupboards and wardrobes that have been on the “To Do” list for ages?

Please think of us if you are although we cannot accept any donations currently .

Please, please do not leave anything outside the shops as there is nobody there to take them indoors .

We will be doubly delighted to receive them when we are back to business. If you could store them safely til then we’d be grateful , we’ll need your support then more than ever.

Also while we are staying home a lot of our daily habits, treats and indulgencies are scuppered. An idea mentioned on the TV was that if you regularly buy an everyday item , say a cup of coffee, but are unable to at the moment would you consider donating that amount to the Hospice please? Of course we appreciate these are worrying times financially for many , but as my Mum use to say “Pennies make Pounds”

Follow the link below to the Donate on our main St Mary’s Hospice website

I will sign off today by sharing the video clip of our C.E.O Val giving a short interview on North West Tonight on 23rd March 2020 speaking about how the virus is affecting the Hospice.

Apologies in advance for the quality , I recorded it straight from the TV , click the link below to watch on Facebook

Keep Safe and we will see you later x

How you can help our shops and it won’t cost you a penny!

If you are a Facebook fan then while you are scrolling and browsing you can help our shops without spending a penny !

Before we go any further ..

Disclaimer: Obviously I do NOT want to discourage you from spending in our shops ,no not AT all , we have ALL THE NICE THINGS .

This is EXTRA you can do in between bouts of guilt -free retail therapy shopping for all the wonderful things you didn’t yet know you needed , ~beckons~ come into the shops……………..

Now we have cleared that up , PHEW.

Not alot of people are aware that as they are idly wandering in the vast depths of Facebook-land they are helping business pages as they go.

Your “likes”on our posts and the comments that you leave for us, and (virtual cheer) the SHARES are so helpful, it means that facebook will show our content to more people. In fact the more you do, the more they show it.

Happy Days.

In a very simplistic way that is how the Facebook Algorithm machine rolls, the more people engage ,the more other people get to see it.

A Facebook “Scream if you want to go faster ?”

When you next visit our page if you like what you see then please give us a “like” on a post and absolutely please DO leave us a comment .

We love to engage in conversation with you , ask us any questions you may have, tag a friend who may be interested. You can also Bagsy things if it is an item for sale post.

Let’s get a convo going! If you would like to share with your friends then that is very much appreciated and means that many more folk will see our posts.

Facebook has a setting called SEE FIRST, it means that our posts will show up at the top of your newsfeed.

Tick that setting and you never miss out on items for sale again that somebody else snaffled before you even saw them (exhibit A: all the posh cushions we have ever sold)

Lastly- a quick word about Hiding. Not hide and seek, bit less fun than that. Without wishing to sound like the bringer of DOOM , if you “hide” a post then Facebook says, “OOPS , that was unpopular, show it to less people”.

Or it would if it was not just a computer programme.

It sadly doesn’t just mean that you have “read it , no need to see again , thanks Facebook”

More a one way trip for that post to Outer Siberia.


Gotta say I “hide ” things now and again, mostly upsetting topics that I know I couldn’t unsee if I looked.

We will never post stuff like that – please don’t hide us away!

Thank you for reading – looking forward to being bowled over by a virtual barrage of likes and comments 😀


You can find us on Facebook at

We are also on Instagram

Let’s fill our charity shop window with genuine sentiment for Valentine’s Day!

St Marys Hospice Grange -Over-Sands shop

Happy Valentine’s Day?

Are you going to buy the (especially price-inflated for Valentine’s day) red roses, or the giant card – something cleverly marketed to persuade you to spend more £’s to prove your love for somebody?
It seems that Valentine’s Day is more and more materialistic and commercialised. It’s about what you buy for someone to show your feelings , rather than what you feel. When the Beatles sang “Money can’t buy me love” they didn’t work in a card shop or florist at the begining of February !

It can be a sad day for those who have lost somebody dear to them, a poignant reminder that they are no longer there to exchange cards with.

As we are a charity shop we have no Valentine’s day stock to sell (unless of course any is donated ) sooooooooooooo we thought that filling our shop window with genuine sentiment would be a great idea .

One of our hashtags is #sharingthelove and what better way to share it than a window full of dedicated hearts.


The window is full of hand drawn hearts and Forget-me -nots. For a donation you can choose the names you would like to see written up. Whether for family members, friends or in remembrance we thought it was a NICE THING.

The world needs more NICE THINGS.

Hand drawn hearts and Forget-me-Nots

To help fill our window with love and to dedicate a heart contact Grange-Over-Sands shop on 015395 32735

Or find us on social media at Instagram

or Facebook :

Carry on #sharingthelove !












Where Has August Gone?

My goodness…where has August gone?

This has been such a busy month…I can’t believe it is almost September!

At the start of August we were looking forward to the start of our Make Do and Mend project…just over 4 weeks later and we’re celebrating the sale of our first piece of upcycled furniture…it sold within 4 hours of hitting the shop floor…how awesome is that?

I’m not surprised really…the table was a real beauty!

We have 2 further items out for sale…both very different.

If your taste is for the individualistic…something you will not find anywhere else then this cute set of drawers might be to your taste. Stripping back the thick white paint we uncovered amazing things…beautiful old wood complimented by strikingly colourful paint…it seemed wrong to take it all off! It’s so tactile…I keep catching myself running my hands along the top each time I pass…I can’t resist!


Many hours of hard work…love and elbow grease have gone into this table but I think you’ll agree it’s worth it…don’t we all deserve a bit of pampering when we’re feeling a bit run down? We’ll have a stampede of neglected tables queuing at the door if word gets out…all hoping for a polish…a non-surgical face lift for furniture!


5 Amazing Things About August!

What a wonderful month August is…what does it conjure up for you?

For me it’s long walks…warm rain…and that smell you get at the sea shore, so hard to describe…salty…comforting…full of dreams…it rolls in on the waves and catches you unawares. I love that smell…I could stand there forever enveloped in a growing sense of well-being as the smell surrounds me…so important in today’s busy world…a place to chill…to just be.

The retail team have so much going on in August…a big month…a busy month…a month full of new ventures and future successes! New stock in the Gift Shop…Christmas cards in the shops…new projects to get involved with…August suddenly seems a very important month and then I start wondering…has August always been such a standout month or is it just us?

So thanks to the wonders of the internet I did a little research and here’s five amazing facts I discovered;

  1. 1st August 1774,  Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen.
  2. 20th August 1911, The first telegram is sent around the world.
  3. 27th August 1955, The first edition of the Guinness Book of records is published.
  4. 31st August 1897, Thomas Edison secures a patent for his kinetograph.
  5. 1st August 2018, first session of St Mary’s Hospice Make Do and Mend Workshop

Amazing fact No. 5 is of course the one we’re most excited about…the first session of St Mary’s Hospice Make Do and Mend Workshop.

Our Make, Do and Mend Workshop provides a chance for bereaved men and women, those caring for their partner or loved one or those living with their own life-shortening illness to come together to share experiences, ideas and enthusiasm, and ultimately, to help each other through loss.

We’ve been working hard to have our workshop ready to welcome the first group and I think you’d agree it’s looking pretty good…there’s plenty of space to work and lots of projects to choose from…won’t be long now!

We’ll bring you regular updates on our Make Do and Mend projects but in the meantime if you’d like to find out more please visit…/make-do-and-mend-to-star…

Shop Chatter has been pretty silent lately…

What can I say…I’m sorry, it’s not you…it’s me…I’ve been distracted lately, I didn’t mean to neglect you!

I want to make this work…I think we’ve got something good going on…something really special…I’m in it for the long term…I promise.


Shop Chatter definitely deserves a little TLC after the weeks of neglect…but don’t worry we’re going to look after it…give it lots of love and attention…we have sOOoooooo much to catch up on!

I can’t wait to get going again…lot’s of great stuff to tell you about….I don’t know where to start…but start I will! Exciting!!!

excited face

Why Do People Donate To Charity Shops?

It’s an interesting question and I think for 99% of the donations we think we know the answer…

  • They want to support the charity because they have experienced the wonderful work they do.
  • They like to support charities in general and like the thought of their unwanted items having a useful life elsewhere.
  • They recognise that donating unwanted items to charity is a great thing to do for the planet…recycle rather than landfill.

I’m sure there are many more great reasons why people donate and we appreciate the items we get what ever the reason…with one exception…

When items are left on our doorstep out of hours!

7.45am Monday morning this is what greets me…a bag of clothes left (sometime between 4.30pm Saturday and 7.45am Monday). The bag has been torn open and clothes are strewn everywhere!

Somebody may have left these with the best intentions…but we do have signs up asking people not to leave donations when the shop is closed…the only thing I can do with these is put them in the bin.

It’s very frustrating…it makes our shop and quite often the surrounding area look awful…it becomes a health risk for staff and volunteers…how long has it been there…how many dogs have relieved themselves there…is there anything else in there, broken items, sharps…would you want to start your working day clearing this up?

Saturday afternoon I closed the shop at 4pm, popped upstairs for 5 minutes when I came down someone had dumped a broken computer in the doorway!

I couldn’t sell this even if it was working…St Mary’s Hospice will have to pay to dispose of it correctly!

You know…we get some amazing donations into our shops that help raise much needed funds for our wonderful hospice…and I wouldn’t want to alienate any genuine donators…but maybe some people just aren’t aware that when they choose to dump goods on our doorstep they aren’t helping a good cause…in some cases they are actually costing it money!

if you have items you would like to donate but can’t make it when the shop is open…please get in touch by phone or Facebook and we can collect…make sure your donation is making a difference in a good way!