Charlie’s the pick of the crop for hospice

FRUIT and veg man Charlie O’Toole has proved he’s the best of the bunch after launching a successful specialist online business for a Hertfordshire charity.

The former Townsend School pupil has set up a profitable new eBay site specialising in selling books, music memorabilia, records and other items for the Hospice of St Frances in Berkhamsted.

The St Albans Waitrose employee, who works in the warehouse moving fruit and vegetables, applied for a charity secondment as part of a John Lewis scheme which encourages employees to volunteer at a UK charity for up to six months.

He asked to volunteer at the hospice as it had provided palliative care for his father who passed away in May last year after suffering from prostate cancer. Nineteen-year-old Charlie wanted to give something back “that lasts” to the organisation which had helped support his dad and family.

He described setting up the eBay site as a “really good challenge” because until joining the Hospice, Charlie had only sold the occasional item on eBay.

He was particularly pleased with the site’s first sale – a Ladybird Cinderella book published in the 1960s which went for �30.

Hospice of St Francis retail manager Lin Underwood praised Charlie’s efforts as the organisation had, “needed help to sell many hundreds of books and records that have been donated to raise money for the Hospice.

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“He has spent months researching items and setting up this new specialist site which is now live to purchase from. Some unique children’s books have already been sold and rare vinyl and foreign books have gone online too.

“We have found it has been a brilliant outlet and we have been able to maximise the value of donations. There is a lot of nostalgia there. We have sent books as far afield as Russia and Brazil, and we’ve been amazed at the interest of customers.”

To visit the organisation’s new eBay site see