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Ottery shop re-opened by long-serving volunteer

Following an extensive refurbishment, Otter St Mary's Hospiscare shop re-opened for business

The Hospiscare Shop in Ottery St Mary was officially reopened on Thursday 25 May by shop volunteer, Margaret Ford.

“It’s a real honour to reopen the shop,” says Margaret. “It looks so different.”

Hospiscare volunteer Margaret cutting a ribbon

Margaret has been volunteering at the shop since it opened 28 years ago. Margaret says,

“Being a volunteer in the shop is great. It’s like being part of a family so I was honoured to be asked.

“The shop’s new look is brilliant! It’s so much lighter and it feels a lot more spacious. I think it’s really going to attract more people.

“Hospiscare was established back in 1982 with just two community nurses,” explains Margaret. “In the early 1990s, it became apparent that is was necessary to expand so fundraising was needed to raise money to build the hospice in Exeter.

“The Hospiscare shop in Ottery St Mary opened in 1991 with two managers, both working 3 days a week. I was asked if I would like to be a volunteer so I took the Wednesday afternoon slot as it fitted in with my work and family commitments,” Margaret continues.

“Back then we had a washing machine, an ironing board and we made all our own price tags! A lot of things have changed since then as advances in technology have allowed us to be more efficient. But a lot of things are still the same: the shop still relies on the support of volunteers and, of course, our wonderful customers and supporters who donate items to us to raise money for the patients who rely on Hospiscare’s services.

Shop manager, Claire, says “I was thrilled that Margaret agreed to re-open the shop for us, and couldn’t think of anyone better.  She has been a volunteer here for the whole 28 years, and she is a real friend and support to so many people. Everyone knows Margaret, both in the shop and within the Ottery community.”

“The new shop layout is a big improvement. “We receive huge support from the local community here, and they have given us some wonderful feedback about our new layout.

Items in the Hospiscare Ottery charity shop

“We have increased our stock levels dramatically while still keeping the spacious feel.  This has led to higher daily sales, and therefore more money going to our patients and their families. On re-opening day alone shop sales were over £800!

“We stock a range of pre-loved ladieswear, menswear, books, homewares and a selection of haberdashery and craft supplies. Stock changes regularly so please pop in for a bargain, there’s always something different to buy!”

The shop is open 9am to 4:45pm Monday to Saturday.