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 visithttp://www.stmaryshospice.org.uk/…/make-do-and-mend-to-star…

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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.

Beautiful-Girl-Sadly-Crying-Breakup-Breakup-Wallpapers-Free-Download-In-HD-4K-Quality

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!

Challenge Accepted..

Here in Barrow shop we like a bit of healthy competition, we’re always setting ourselves little in-shop targets to try and beat…it keeps us motivated and helps us raise as much money as possible for the hospice, not to mention adding a little fun to the day!

We’re always pushing ourselves…to sell more pound items…to increase eBay listing…to recruit more volunteers…the team just doesn’t stop!

Our bravest and toughest challenge so far involves Kite Books…this is a system we use that allows us to sell items through Amazon…books, DVD’s, CD’s and more recently new toys, games and jigsaws.

Six months ago we had 250 items listed online using this system…we were bringing in a decent enough income from it but it was clear there was scope for more…I made a commitment then (in my head only at this time for obvious reasons!) that in 12 months time St Mary’s Hospice would have 1000 items listed for sale…my reasoning being…more items listed…more choice for customers…more sales for the hospice!

Asking for that kind of an increase is not easy…let’s face it, was it even realistic? I didn’t really know, but it was a challenge I wanted the team to try and achieve…but we couldn’t do it alone. We needed every shop to play their part! Yes, if you visit Barrow shop you will see boxes and boxes of online items…but that doesn’t give you the full picture…they didn’t necessarily start out here.

All St Mary’s shops contribute stock to the online selling forums…we have volunteers everywhere, armed with scanners eager to find items to be listed…we have drivers ferrying the online stock to Barrow shop for storing, picking, packing and posting once sold…it’s a real team effort…a Retail Team Effort (from this point forward it shall be known as an RTE).

There’s no stopping an RTE…the momentum just keeps on building until we reach our goal…it’s both scary and beautiful to watch!

I could wax lyrical for ever about the awesomeness of an RTE…but that’s kind of taking me away from the point I’m trying to make…so let me focus!

It’s six months since I made that private challenge…it became a Barrow challenge very soon after and then a wider retail challenge…we have all worked so hard on making this achievable and do you know what…we’re pretty close already…with six months gone we have gone from 250 items to 754 items listed…that’s not a bad effort is it?

I’m so proud of everyone involved…who instead of doubting or complaining, just rolled up their proverbial sleeves and showed up to help…a true RTE!

With 6 months left I thought I would share our challenge with you…you might want to help…either by volunteering your time or by donating goods…whatever you decide is great 🙂

Interested in volunteering contact your local St Mary’s Hospice shop…check out our website, http://www.stmaryshospice.org.uk or leave a message on our Facebook page, Retail at St Mary’s Hospice.

If you would like to donate goods that could possibly be sold on line (subject to value when scanned) you can take them to any of our shops or have them picked up from your home by one of our retail drivers…call Trish on 07541359881.

Items suitable for Kite include…books…DVD’s, CD’s. We also sell new toys, games and jigsaws…how many times do we buy something only never to use it…never take it out of it’s packaging?

If you would like to help us reach our goal and be involved in a most awesome RTE act now…you won’t regret it!

Are You Feeling Creative?

I love a juicy project to get my teeth into…you know when you just see something and you think…’I could do wonderful things with that’…and before you know what happened a very nice person is helping load it into your car!

Does that happen to you too…I’m sure it’s not just me? My guilty secret is furniture…my spare room is full of pieces in various stages of remodeling!

I was in our furniture warehouse this morning and they have got just the thing (things really!) for the adventurous or gifted refurbisher (I think I just made this word up but I’m sure you know what I mean!) Instead of waffling just let me show you the pictures…

I mean look at them…aren’t they amazing? Can you imagine what you could do with them?

There’s a lot of work needed to bring them back but oh my goodness wouldn’t it be worth it?

If these chair frames (at least 2 are Ercol) are calling your name then you need to call the warehouse fast…or leave a message on our Facebook page…I guarantee they won’t be around for long!

 

Dying Matters…What Can You Do?

If you’re a regular St Mary’s shopper you will have seen the displays in all of our shop windows…promoting Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Maybe walking by you’ve wondered what it all means…I know I’ve had questions from a few volunteers here in Barrow…the window displays have helped start conversations we don’t normally have and made people think, which is great.

If you want to know more you can pop into any of our shops and pick up a leaflet…find out what you can do today.

For more information go to –

https://www.dyingmatters.org/AwarenessWeek

Drop Your Pants…

Our Trish hit the road to promote Drop Your Pants and raise awareness of testicular cancer…she had the pleasure of meeting the Barrow Raiders team (see below)

L-R Ryan Johnson, Andrew Litherland, Martin Aspinwall (captain), Shane Toal, Alec Susino, Tom Walker, Dean Parata & Brett Carter.

Dave Kendall & Steve Rea (coaches Barrow Raiders)

Next on her list was Nathan from Barrow AFC, who was more than happy to get involved…smile for the camera 🎥 😁

Nathan Waterston, Barrow AFC.

Trish had a great day meeting the Barrow teams, chatting about the Drop Your Pants campaign…happy days .

Don’t forget all you men out there…just because the campaign is over doesn’t mean we don’t want your donations…you can drop off all your unwanted goodies at any St Mary’s Hospice Shop…if you’re unsure about what we accept head over to Facebook, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you ASAP