St Peter's Hospice Downend shop celebrates 20 years
IT WAS cake all around when a well-loved charity shop in Downend celebrated its 20th birthday.
Saturday girl and former manager Anne Holloway, who has worked at the shop since it opened, with assistant manager Sue Cole
Staff at St Peter's Hospice held a special party day to mark the occasion and to thank all its loyal customers over the past two decades.
As well as sharing birthday cake, the store raffled a hamper complete with toiletries, wine and chocolate and offered 20 per cent off goods.
The shop opened in 1999 with all funds going to support Bristol's only adult hospice caring for people with life-limiting illnesses.
The shop receives fantastic support from people living in Downend with bags of clothing, toys and bric-a-brac donated on a daily basis.
The shop boasts more than 30 volunteers, along with a manager, two assistant managers and a Saturday lady.
Shop manager Nicola Smith, who has worked in 17 of the charity's shops, said: “The shop is always busy. We have got to know our regular customers and we're like a family.
“Some days we can get more than 100 bags donated to us; the people of Downend are really caring people.
“The party was a special event to thank everyone who has donated or come into the shop to support us as well as a thank you to all our staff and volunteers.
“It's a lovely shop and our customers are amazing.”
Part-time assistant manager Sue Cole has worked in the shop since it opened 20 years ago. She was originally a volunteer but later became a paid member of staff.
She said: “I had just got made redundant and was looking for another job so I thought I'd do some volunteering while I was looking. I loved it so much I used to come in to help nearly every day!
“When I said I needed to get a 'proper' job, my manager said she didn't want me to leave so she found me a paid part-time job.
“Things haven't changed too much over the last 20 years, except there are a lot more rules and regulations now, like most organisations.
“I love my job and the volunteers are amazing – we couldn't do what we do without them.”
Staff haven't managed to stumble upon any priceless Ming vases but they did receive a recent donation of five brand new Radley handbags with tags, valued at at least £90 each.
High value items like these get sold on the charity's online eBay shop in order to maximise profits.
St Peter's Hospice has more than 50 shops and 65 textile banks across Bristol, raising more than £2million each year towards patient care.
Anne is pictured cutting the cake at the shop's opening in 1999