Shop needs volunteers


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Tania Brown, Stratford HospiceShop manager, says the shop is "always busy" and has a steady turnover of goods.

"We have lots of lovely things come in, from wedding dresses to gorgeous pieces of furniture. It is always nice to see something go to a new home, and it is a great feeling knowing you are also supporting such a fantastic cause."

Tania says the Stratford community is "wonderful" at donating items to the shops in the town.

"As well as the main store, we also have our pop-up store by the clock tower, which specialises in antiques and collectibles."

The shops can only run so well, "thanks to the numerous hours put in by our volunteers" she says.

According to the chief executive of Hospice Taranaki, Kevin Nielsen, volunteers at the Stratford HospiceShop have contributed more than 13,000 hours of their time over the past 12 months.

"An amazing contribution," he says. They are actively seeking more volunteers.

Tania says there are birthday specials running in store to mark the first year of the shop being in the new location, "and every day you come in there is something new on the shelves, so make sure you pop in often".

People love knowing they are supporting such a good cause, says Tania, and she believes much of the appeal comes from knowing money raised in Taranaki stays in Taranaki.

"You are helping your neighbour with every purchase or donation.". With all sorts of items for sale, from large electrical items (which are all checked in New Plymouth before being put out on the shop floor) to beds and other furniture as well as books, clothes and toys, "there is always something you need or want and it is always on offer at a good price".

Kevin says almost 40 per cent of Hospice patients are suffering from illnesses other than cancer, a trend which has become more evident over recent years.

"Ten years ago it would have been more like 90 per cent cancer, and ten per cent non cancer."

With the first birthday under their belt, the team at the Stratford HospiceShop are now looking to the future.

"We will continue to offer quality secondhand goods, " says Tania.

Kevin says the need for support will not lessen in the future, and he looks forward to watching the Stratford HospiceShop continue to flourish.

- Stratford Press

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