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!
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;
- 1st August 1774, Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen.
- 20th August 1911, The first telegram is sent around the world.
- 27th August 1955, The first edition of the Guinness Book of records is published.
- 31st August 1897, Thomas Edison secures a patent for his kinetograph.
- 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…
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!
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!
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 –
Did you know we have not just one , but TWO ebay shops?
We send items of special interest or high value into our ebay shops so the millions of ebayers can see them and we get the maximum price possible. As an example from Grange shop alone this week, amongst other goodies I sent over Gucci and Fendi handbags !
It’s like Christmas every day unpacking donations, you just never know what will turn up next !
Have a look and see what you need on our ebay shops – guilt free retail therapy – it IS for charity after all !
We’ll be back with more Shop chatter in April…now we’ve finished Millom refit we feel the need for a holiday!
The shops have been busy readying their windows for Valentine’s Day…some fantastic ideas taking shape.
Here at Barrow Shop we’ve really tried to embrace the theme…’This Valentine’s Day…Love Your Hospice’…with our oversized heart in Forget Me Not colours 😊
A great response to our ‘Close To Your Heart’ blog…it’s great to have so many people willing to share, a big thank you to those that have contributed so far…we’d love to hear from more of you so don’t be afraid to comment…message via Facebook or drop into one of the shops.
I thought I’d share this beautiful poem written and sent in by Lauren.
If you’re feeling creative…and brave why not try writing your own?
…a calm descended and a plan was formed…
The plan it turns out…was pretty simple…because it’s something that happens naturally all the time…we just don’t necessarily talk about it…we just feel it and accept it.
So…on the run up to this Valentine’s Day we would like you to think about why the hospice is close to your heart…not just think about it…but share it with us…let’s have a bit of shop chatter!
The number of people I speak to in a working day…customers…people dropping off donations…volunteers…all expressing their love…gratitude…affection for St Mary’s Hospice so naturally…wouldn’t it be great to share it…to tell the world how awesome the hospice…it’s volunteers…shops…staff and support groups are?
How can you get involved…that’s the easy bit…send us a message or a picture on Facebook…leave a comment on WordPress…drop into one of the shops.
Let’s start the conversation now…