Southport BID feature by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport
Queenscourt Hospice is proud of the shop it runs on Chapel Street in Southport town centre.
The venue provides a very visible presence for the vital role that the charity plays in our community, caring for families across West Lancashire, Southport and Formby.
That care costs money and relies on public donations and public generosity.
Part of that funding comes through the Queenscourt shop on Chapel Street, one of five operated by the charity. There is another in Churchtown, one on Bispham Road, one in Formby and one in Burscough.
The shops offer sustainability by re-using pre-loved clothes, bric a brac, toys, books, CDs and DVDs.
They offer great value products to shoppers with an eye for a bargain and families facing greater pressures on their budgets during the cost of living crisis.
Queenscourt Hospice is appealing for support to help develop the service still further.
The charity would love to see local businesses donate any surplus stock or configuration they have, while donations from local residents are always appreciated.
It doesn’t have to be goods – it could be mannequins, bar work or items for use in the shops.
It could be the use of employees’ time, expertise, and services through companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Volunteers who can give their time to support the shop and the eBay team freely are always needed.
While the takings that can be made through Queenscourt charity shops are restricted to the floor space they occupy, with eBay, there are no limits to what can be achieved.
Funds are vital to support the essential services that Queenscourt delivers.
#teamqueenscourt provide exceptional palliative care for over 1900 patients each year and their loved ones, when they need support the most. This compassionate care is provided through its In-Patient unit, Queenscourt Connect, Queenscourt at Home and Queenscourt in Hospital and Community.
In all, it costs over £400 an hour, 365 days a year to keep Queenscourt in service, and the relies heavily on community support and donations to do this.
Queenscourt Hospice Area Retail Manager Jodie Lovelock said: “Our shops were open before Covid and then lockdown hit and sadly we had to close like everyone else.
“It feels great to be open again.
“We sell all kinds of things in our shops. We sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, bags, toys, games, bric-a-brac, books, pictures, jewellery, and much more.
“We sell every type of brand you can think of!
“On the ground floor in Chapel Street, we sell lots of women’s clothing and accessories, children’s clothing and toys along with all kinds of bric-a-brac.
“On the first floor we sell menswear and accessories, vinyl records, books, and have just opened a new occasion wear section as well.
“As a shop we are a good all-rounder and we sell most things.
“The only thing we don’t sell is furniture. We wouldn’t be able to squeeze any sofas in there….or get them up the stairs!
“We also sell items online through eBay, and our eBay Team are based at the Chapel Street. Shop.
“Our eBay initiative is run by Dave Lavery, who is also the Manager of our shop, his Assistant Shop Manager Susan Caunce and the newest member of the team Charlotte Woods who has joined as the Online Sales Assistant Manager.
“Our shops add a really positive presence to the high street.
“Our staff and our volunteers take huge pride in how the shop looks.
“At Chapel Street, we have two big windows that face onto the street and our staff work really hard to make them look as good and as appealing as possible.
“Charity shops play such an important role on our high streets.
“They are sustainable, and do a vital job in diverting pre-loved goods that would otherwise go to landfill to instead find new homes.
“We like to look after our pre-loved items and ensure they are passed onto someone new.
“Another benefit is that during a cost of living crisis, charity shops can offer wide choices of affordable clothes and other goods for families who may be feeling the pressure, as well as great value bargains to all those savvy shoppers out there.
“It is about doing what we can to help the local community with the cost of living and keeping our prices low, whilst still providing all we can to help keep Queenscourt in service.
The shops all play an important role in the work of the charity.
Jodie said: “Our five shops and eBay sales are vital to the work that the hospice does.
“Queenscourt provides compassionate care for people with life-limiting illnesses across West Lancashire, Southport and Formby and these shops are all vital sources of income generation for our charity.
“All the profits raised from our shops, and from Queenscourt eBay, go directly to support the vital work of #teamqueenscourt.
“The benefits of what these shops contribute is substantial.
“For example, a meal for a patient at Queenscourt costs £4, so if we can sell an item in one of our shops for £4 then that will fund a meal for a patient.
“We rely heavily on donations from generous members of the public and businesses, and their donations really do make a difference.
“There is a loading bay at the back of our shop on Chapel Street (in between café Nero and Travel Money) which makes it easier for people dropping anything off as we have a dedicated area for customers to bring their items to the back door. However, we would suggest supporters call the shop first before heading down.”
“With donations, we always advise people to contact us before they are coming to the shop to ensure we are able to accept them. We really appreciate people’s generosity, but we also have a capacity that we can’t breach for the safety of our staff and volunteers.
“We do however have other shops in the area, including another two in Southport, so if one shop cannot accept donations at a particular time, then there are often alternatives where goods can be accepted.
“We also enjoy some donations from local businesses, but we would appreciate receiving more.
“If any shops or other firms out there have any surplus stock that they would like to donate to Queenscourt then please get in touch.”
- The Queenscourt Hospice charity shop at 28 Chapel Street, Southport PR8 1BH is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday closed. For more details about volunteering at the shop please call Dave, Sue or Charlotte on: 01704 807879 or email: email@example.com.
- To avoid disappointment, please call your local shop ahead of time to ensure the team has enough space to store your donations. To save time, please ensure that any items that are to be sent to eBay are bagged up and labelled separately.