St John’s Hospice charity shop welcomes back customers
- Credit: St John's Hospice
St John’s Hospice charity shop has officially opened again in St John’s Wood High Street after eight months of closure due to the pandemic and lockdown.
Area shop manager Veronica McGeehan has spent the past month preparing stock and ensuring the shop meets Covid requirements.
“It is good to be back,” she says. “We are open safely and can reassure customers they can confidently buy pre-loved goods and by doing so, we hope to restore the shop to its former fundraising capabilities.”
The Finchley Road shop is closed and has been turned into a donation centre.
In the past, the two shops have raised an average £300,000 annually for the hospice which offers free palliative care to 4,000 terminally-ill patients per year across eight London boroughs.
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The closures in March significantly impacted funds and, combined with the cancellation of fundraising events, mean the hospice is now facing a predicted £1.3m deficit by the end of this year.
Customers returning to the St John’s Wood store will find antibacterial gel for their use at the entrance, a new one-way system in place, floor signage and screens at the counter. Opening hours are shorter – Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 4pm – to allow for a daily cleaning schedule.
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Donations of clothes, shoes, accessories, and homewares can be made direct to the store on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays – only two bags per person. For the foreseeable future, books, CDs and vinyls will not be stocked due to government Covid advice.
“People actively seek out charity shops these days and we have had customers rattling the door handle before we had even officially opened,“ said Veronica. “We have lots of stock to inspire shoppers including designer labels, and a good price range starting from as little as £2.
“A big plea is for customers to sign up for Gift Aid – it means we can receive an extra 25% on the value of each item donated which will mean a huge difference to our funds at this difficult time.”
Donations can also be made to the Finchley Road Donation Centre with no restriction on the number of bags per person. For opening times see the hospice website www.stjohnshospice.org,uk.
St John’s Hospice recently launched an emergency fundraising Covid-19 appeal. Donations can be made by visiting the hospice website www.stjohnshospice.org.uk or calling 020 7806 4040 and asking for the fundraising team.