Surprise!

Working in a charity shop you really need to have an imagination…a sense of fun…you never know what your next donation is going to be…every bag is different…from papier-mâché ducks to vintage cameras…you just never know what you’re going to find!

That’s the beauty of charity shops…working in them…volunteering in them…shopping in them!

If you haven’t experienced a charity shop yet maybe now is the time.

#loveyour£thing

I’ve spent quite a bit of time at our Barrow shop these last couple of weeks whilst we wait for the new manager to start…it’s been really great hearing firsthand what our customers think of the stock…the prices…the service.

One thing is very clear…they LOVE THEIR £ THING! Price is very important these days and customers at our Barrow shop love the fact that they can dress well for so little…meaning money left over for other things too.

#loveyour£thing

Love the hospice…love Barrow…love those bargains!

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Let Your Light Shine.

Barrow shop has gone lampshade crazy!

They have lampshades of all shapes…colours and designs…to fit lamps or ceiling lights.

The Barrow team spent Thursday morning sorting a mammoth collection of lamps and lampshades…only the best for our customers!

I can’t deny there was fun and games too…I mean who can resist wearing a lampshade as a hat (there are pictures but they won’t let me show you!)

Customer Care…Customers Care…

Despite the storm…the damage to the shop…Thursday was a great day…the number of people who stopped by to see how we were doing…find out when we would be open again…it was amazing.

I mean…we know we have regular customers…but to see how important we were to them…how much they care…it was lovely.

So…I really just wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to all our wonderful customers who care so much…we care too…about you…the shop and the hospice.

Never stop caring…the world needs more of that.

Many Hands…

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8am, Thursday morning I start making telephone calls, electricians, landlords, tool hire companies…and you know when sometimes everything falls in to place…and you end up with unexpected results…well this was one of those times!

The tool hire company were awesome…a ‘water sucking’ (technical term!) hoover and an industrial fan delivered by 8.30am!

Electricians…ceiling repairers…roofers…all there within an hour and a half…that’s pretty amazing don’t you think? They all wanted to get the job done as soon as possible…to get us open.

To take down and replace the ceiling was going to take approximately 4 hours…there was a possibility we could be open by 1pm…wishful thinking…maybe?

9.00am, volunteers start to arrive…a look of shock when they saw the shop…quickly followed by  ‘what can we do?’.

Time for a plan…I told Stephen, Barbara, Jean and Mary my aim was to have the shop open by 1pm…raised eyebrows…laughter…a few cheeky comments…then rolling up their sleeves they got stuck in!

Stephen took on the mammoth task of sorting the damage upstairs whilst the rest of us concentrated on the shop floor…and you know…they made me so proud…these good people who have supported St Mary’s Hospice and volunteered for us for years…not one complaint or negative comment…for over 3 hours we all worked solidly…with a little break for ice-cream of course…but who can blame us!

12.30pm we’re looking up as the last ceiling tile is replaced…grinning we realise we’re going to make it! The shop is almost ready…we will be open on time…honestly…when I said I wanted to be open by 1pm…did I believe it possible…not 100%…but obviously enough to see it happen.

STEPHEN…BARBARA…JEAN…MARY…it was a pleasure working with you yesterday…thank you…love volunteers…love Barrow…love your hospice!

Storms Don’t Last Forever…

Thursday morning I decide to head to Barrow shop…get some paperwork done while it’s quiet.

As I approach I notice the windows are steamed up…’Strange’, I thought.

I open the door…it was like walking into a sauna…heat…moisture…something definitely wasn’t right!

Looking into the shop I immediately saw the problem…a flash storm early evening on Wednesday had cascaded through the upstairs…via guttering and brought a third of the shop floor ceiling down!

There was debris everywhere!

Entering the shop to survey the damage…feet squelching with every step…I really couldn’t see this being a quick fix!