The cash register was ringing as East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) proudly opened its new shop in Huntingdon.
The charity unveiled its smart new store at Unit 16, Chequers Court Shopping Centre, on Thursday morning.
A crowd gathered outside as the ribbon was cut before bargain-hunting customers were allowed inside for the first time.
EACH mascot ECHO the Elephant was on hand to meet and greet people at the shop, which is the charity’s 44th in total and sixth in Cambridgeshire.
It will be open every day.
Simon Foster, EACH Retail Area Manager for the North-West, said: “I’m so happy and excited to have reached this point. It’s taken a lot of hard work but we’ve had some fantastic support along the way. It’s a big day for our new shop but also for the charity, after the challenges of Covid. This is part of our expansion plan and, on a personal note, it’s a feeling of immense pride as this is my first new shop, since joining EACH. I was a bit anxious in the build-up but everything has happened so quickly. To see our planning bear fruit like this is wonderful. We’re delighted to be open and excited by the prospect of becoming part of the community here in Huntingdon. The shop looks amazing. The stock is incredible and we have a wide range of brands, with something for everyone.”
Sarah Throssell, EACH Head of Retail Central Operations, conducted the ribbon-cutting ceremony and an impressive £826 was taken in the first hour of trading on Thursday.
EACH Shop Manager Rachel Cambridge said: “I’m very pleased and proud. EACH is such a worthwhile cause and we’re thrilled to have such a lovely shop in a prime location in a town that is clearly thriving. It’s perfect timing, opening as we regain some normality after the pandemic, and hopefully we’ll do well. This is a milestone for me as it’s my first involvement with EACH. Everyone has made me feel so welcome and shown such warmth, though. People work so hard for the cause and it makes you want to contribute and achieve. I come from a retail background but previously spent many years as a teaching assistant, so have a strong connection with children. Although I’m not working with them now, it means so much to have a connection again and be doing something to help young people. We very much look forward to seeing and welcoming new customers and are always looking for more volunteers to join our hard-working, dedicated team.”
EACH provides care for hundreds of children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and support for their families, across the region. It has three hospices, the nearest to Huntingdon being in Milton, just north of Cambridge, and delivers lots of its specialist service in family homes and at hospitals. Receiving only some 16% of its income from statutory sources, EACH relies on voluntary donations for the majority.
EACH welcomes donations of the following clean and good-quality goods: clothing, bric-a-brac, modern paperbacks, toys, jewellery, DVDs/CDs, household linens, retro and vintage clothes, and small electrical items. These can be dropped off at the new shop. The rear door of the shop can be accessed for donations – adjacent to the RCP carpark on St Germain Street – just look out for the EACH sign!
Anyone interested in more information on volunteering at the new shop can email email@example.com or pop into the shop to find out more.