What Is Valentine’s Day…

You know how sometimes you start thinking about things…then your mind goes off at a tangent and leads you elsewhere…you drift back and forth and suddenly you realise that all of these random thoughts are related…that something links them all…that light bulb moment!

light-bulb-clipart-aha-moment-2First week of January and I start noticing Valentine’s displays popping up in all the high street shops…shock…horror…Valentines…but I’m still finishing off the Christmas cake!!!

After my initial shock I start to panic…what can the hospice shops do for Valentine’s…how can we make our displays different…special?

I started thinking then…what does Valentine’s Day even mean…and is that the same for everybody…so I asked Google (doesn’t everybody?)…what does it mean?

Of course I ended up with a plethora of definitions but my favourite one was this;

Valentine – Something (such as a movie or a piece of writing) expressing uncritical praise or affection (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valentine.)

And then the penny dropped…Valentine’s Day…it’s about love and caring…and then I knew…the only thing that needs to be expressed in our shop windows this February is the love that flows in abundance for St Mary’s Hospice.

Great idea…stop right there brain…but no…the thoughts kept coming! So much love for the hospice…one day was never going to be enough…what else could we do? My mind was abuzz with ideas…from the sublime to the ridiculous…but then it all started to take shape…a calm descended and a plan was formed…




I don’t know about you but the period after Christmas and before New Year is a strange one…Christmas celebrations over but you don’t want to lose that holiday spirit… after all it’s nearly New Year…time to celebrate again!

If like me you feel a bit bored during this waiting period and you don’t know what to do…or you’ve had enough of the Christmas treats and want some fresh air…take a walk or drive (depending where you live of course! ) and visit our Ulverston Shop…check out our cute little chiminea (I call him Colin!)

Colin could be your forever chiminea…all you have to do is place the highest bid!

Be the envy of all your friends…whilst supporting your local St Mary’s Hospice…bid for Colin the Chiminea today…you know you won’t regret it!

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We Love A Blind Auction!

Apprentices at Furness College, working with their tutor Scott Wilson, have made a garden wood burner in the style of a “Minion”

They have donated this and other items to St Mary’s Hospice in the hope of raising much needed funds.

It is hoped that this can become a yearly project for Apprentices both to make the gifts and to visit the Hospice to understand our services and importance to the Community

From left to right (picture below), Ben Watson, Sophie Monk, Lee Harkin, Matthew Brown, Reece Mallon and Sam Johnson.

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Thanks so much to the Furness College apprentices and their tutor…the wood burner is a fantastic piece of work…they should be really proud!

We have decided  a Blind Auction is the best way to sell this unique wood burner as we’re sure there will be many people who want to own him.

If you would like this cheeky little chimenea to be coming home with you…all you need to do is enter a bid at our Ulverston shop, following the instructions below;minion 1

12 New Market Street,
LA12 7LN
Tel: 01229 580614

Opening hours:
10am – 4pm Monday to Saturday

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Christmas Clear Out!

As well as being the time for family…friends and Christmas festivities…December is often the month where people decide to have a really good clear out before the holidays end.

So…if between Christmas and New Year you are looking for somewhere to drop off unwanted gifts…clothes you no longer wear…DVD’s you no longer watch…then pop along to your local St Mary’s Hospice shop…we’d be happy to accept your donations!

All of our shops will display their individual opening times for the week in between Christmas and New Year…these might differ slightly town to town…if in doubt give the shop a ring before you pop down.

Don’t forget of course…while you’re dropping off your donations you might as well take the opportunity to check out the shop floor…plenty of bargains to be had and plenty of space at home now you’ve had that clear out!



#GoodCauseSantaClaus…what a great idea…if you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping yet…or still have a secret santa gift to buy why not follow the wonderful example of the Charity Retail Association and buy from your local charity shop.

The 2017 Secret Santa Charity Shop Challenge


Could you and your company do your Secret Santa buying in charity shops?

The UK’s “Secret Santas” are being encouraged to make sure their gift buying spreads even more Christmas joy this year by choosing to shop only in charity shops.

Secret Santa is a popular game amongst families, friends and work colleagues in which participants randomly assign another member of the group to buy an anonymous gift for.

The price of the gift is usually limited to increase the challenge, and the Charity Retail Association – who represent charity shops across the UK – are now suggesting that players go one further and limit their gift buying to charity shops only. This would raise much needed additional funds for charities in the run up to Christmas.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, said: “Christmas should be a time of thinking of others, and every time someone shops in a charity shop they are not only getting a bargain, but also donating to charity and promoting re-use and recycling.

“Our staff are leading the way this year by only buying gifts for each other in charity stores.  It’s a great fun challenge and I’d recommend it to everyone.”


I may be a little biased but I think our St Mary’s Hospice shops are awesome places to do your Christmas shopping…the choice is amazing and value for money is a sure thing!

Buying a gift from a charity shop has that feel good factor to it…I’m already an avid charity shop shopper but if I wasn’t I would jump on this idea like a shot! I mean…what’s not to like…a gift at a reasonable price and you’re helping a charity raise much needed funds…it makes sense to me!

What do you think? Have you bought any gifts from one of our shops? How would you feel receiving a gift from a charity shop…would you see it as a bonus for you and the charity?

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Turkey Talk!

Visit our shops and you’ll hear nothing but ‘Turkey Talk’ at the moment…DALTON…BARROW…GRANGE and now ULVERSTON…we all have our own version of ‘name the turkey’ playing!

I didn’t know how excited we’d all be to name a turkey…but it’s all we can talk about…I think the amazing array of prizes each shop has collected helps…I have the urge to run round Dalton…Ulverston…Grange and Barrow buying tickets at every shop!

If you love a guessing game and you want to win an awesome prize…no matter what town you’re in you can pop in and have a go…only £2…fantastic value!