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.

A Wandering We Will Go

It’s been another glorious day for travelling round the shops.

Ulverston…Millom…Grange…all bustling with happy shoppers.

If you haven’t added St Mary’s Hospice shops to your list of ‘must see places’ now is the time to do it.

The sun is shining…the shops are full of bright summer colours…wonderful bargains just waiting to be bought…what better way to spend an August day?

If You Come Here You Will Find Hidden Treasure – Paulo Coelho

It’s been a busy week…I’ve visited all the shops…what treasure I’ve found!

The warehouse on Wednesday…a giant Russian telescope…it certainly got my interest! Just seeing the large box was enough to get me thinking…wondering what was inside…opening the lid and seeing the telescope…it was definitely a WOW moment!

They wouldn’t let me take the telescope for eBay…they’re still researching it, but they did give me some interesting bits and pieces, including 2 Beatles records…we’ll soon have them listed in our eBay shop!

I called in at Dalton next and picked up a doctor’s stethoscope and some new shoes from Carol…more stock for eBay!

Millom on Thursday and June had a pile of treasures waiting for me…including an old accordion…its a little bit rusted but has the original case…definitely eBay material! It rattled around my car boot and made a strange kind of music all the way back to Barrow…not the most tuneful if I’m honest…but I’m sure in the right hands it will sound better!

Only 153 Sleeps Until Christmas!

I know…I’m sorry…you really don’t want to be thinking about Christmas when the kids have just broken up for their Summer holidays…but I can’t help it…Trish and I have been knee deep in Christmas cards all afternoon…counting them…making sure we have the right numbers…designs for each shop…how can you not feel festive?

The designs this year are so good…I’m not exaggerating…I’m almost scared to give you a sneak preview…I know you’re going to want to buy them right now!

I do have a particular favourite…which I can’t resist showing you! How gorgeous is this card…I don’t think it will take long to sell out!

Cards and diaries will be available to buy very soon, in the shops and online.

Feeling A Little Blue?


It’s raining…it already seems a long time since the weekend…just don’t know how to lift your mood and put a smile back on your face?

If this sounds like you I’ve got just the thing!

Take a day out and tour our shops…see some beautiful countryside and pick up some amazing bargains along the way!

A round trip…start at the Warehouse…where you can furnish your house on a budget and still make it look sleek and stylish…head up to Dalton making sure you take plenty of pictures of the window. Next stop Ulverston…a better looking charity shop you will not find…shoes and handbags in abundance.

Motor on up to Grange…maybe stop for lunch at one of the fantastic little cafes…I can recommend the lemon meringue icecream! The shop is the haunt of many a holiday maker…coming back year after year…they obviously know a good thing when they see it!

From Grange head to Millom…you’re definitely in for a treat…best bric-a-brac by far and a great selection of clothing.

Complete your trip by heading back to Barrow and our clearance shop on Dalton Road…it doesn’t matter if you’re spent up as your money goes further here…a full outfit for £5…that’s right £5…that includes shoes and bag!!

By the end of the day you should have a big smile on your face…an empty purse/wallet…bags full of fantastic bargains…happy shopping!

If you decide to do the tour please let me know how you got on.

When Is A Donation Not A Donation?

Leaving bags of items outside a charity shop when it is closed…this is not a donation.

A very high percentage of items left outside closed charity shops do not end up on the shop floor…they get rained on…stolen…or used as doggie toilets…very rarely do they end up benefiting the charity they were meant for…in fact it can actually end up costing us money to dispose of them correctly.

St Mary’s Hospice have tried to provide as many options as possible to make donating goods easier and more convenient.

You can take your donation to work with you if your company has a St Mary’s Hospice donation station.

You can call up and book a van and driver to pick your donation up…this could be anything from one bag to ten, twenty bags…or more.

You can call in to any of our shops during opening hours and drop your donation off in person.

Call Trish to book a collection or request a donation station for your company on 07541359881.

Call Trish

So…What Really Happens To my Donation?

It’s Tuesday morning…you bring your bag of clothes into St Mary’s Hospice shop, Dalton-in-Furness…what happens next?

Knowing the team in Dalton…I’m sure you will be met with a big smile and a cheery ‘Good Morning’ before you’re even fully through the door…you couldn’t find a happier shop!

A member of the team will ask you what you have to donate today… unfortunately we can’t accept certain items…some shops are smaller than others and so are limited in what they are able to sell.

They take your bag…ask you if you can Gift Aid, explain the Gift Aid scheme…sign you up if you’re eligible and take your donation to be processed.

We examine every item in the bag…checking the pockets…zips…buttons. They will look for marks, stains, tears…anything that would make it unsaleable…once checked it goes to be steamed and priced before being put out for sale on the shop floor.

If we can’t sell something we might still be able to make money for the hospice by recycling it… we always look at every option before giving up on an item.