Charity shop champions of St Albans hospice

CHARITY begins in shops when it comes to fundraising for Grove House, the St Albans day hospice. The four Grove House charity shops last year contributed �95,000 to the running of the hospice and donations to them can be varied and often valuable. The Sou

CHARITY begins in shops when it comes to fundraising for Grove House, the St Albans day hospice.

The four Grove House charity shops last year contributed �95,000 to the running of the hospice and donations to them can be varied and often valuable.

The Southdown shop in Piggotshill Lane, Harpenden, is no exception. It is managed by Mary Way and Pat Kendall who are delighted with the quality of the donations they receive.

Mary, who has worked in the shop for over five years, said: "This is a great place to be, it has a real community feel with everyone working towards the same goal - to raise money for Grove House.


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"We have 60 hard-working, dedicated volunteers, many with special skills and experience to help us sort and value the donations."

Mary went on: "It's always exciting when sorting through the bags as you never know what you might find. For example, just last week we were given a piece of Clarice Cliff pottery circa 1950 valued at �100 - there is always a huge demand for these collectors' items.

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"Over the years we have also had several pieces of Troika Cornish Pottery which is like gold dust and sells at really good prices."

As well as clothes, jewellery, shoes and bags, including many designer labels, the shop also sells furniture, baby equipment and toys. Pat said: "We love to see the children coming in to spend their pocket money. We always have a huge selection of toys and games as well as bicycles for all ages."

The Southdown shop also attracts young people and school leavers looking for prom dresses and dinner jackets for graduation or leaving balls. Pat explained: "We have access to a large, central warehouse so if there is something special someone wants we can often find it for them."

Opening hours at Southdown are 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and other Grove House shops are situated in Victoria Street in St Albans, Fleetville and Hemel Hempstead. For information about Grove House services call 01727 731000 or visit grove-house.org.uk

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