Chichester charity shop celebrates first birthday

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The theme was the ‘Best of British’, with everyone enjoying traditional party fayre of homemade cakes and scones with cream and jam.

Among the guests was The Right Worshipful, The Mayor of Chichester, Councillor Peter Budge.

Local resident and Chestnut Tree House supporter, Rosie Turner, also attended the celebrations.

Rosie, who is 85, is the mother-in-law of local author Kate Mosse who also attended.

Kate was involved in the Festival of Chichester last summer, judging the local shop windows when the Chestnut Tree House charity shop in Chichester won first prize.

Rosie has been knitting in aid of Chestnut Tree House for several years and knitted a Union Jack tea cosy, a figure of the Queen and a corgi, which took pride of place in the shop window display.

There was a garden party themed birthday cake topped with a fondant teacup, made by the charity’s warehouse manager, Karen Bentley.

The Mayor of Chichester, Councillor Peter Budge, cut the cake along with Rosie.

Hugh Lowson, the hospice’s CEO gave a speech and thanked the staff, volunteers and customers for their support in making the shop such a success.

Helen Smith, shop manager, has been with the shop since it opened last February.

Helen said, “It’s more than a shop, it’s a community hub where local people and visitors to the city come back again and again.

“We’ve got an amazing team of volunteers and generous supporters and this was a wonderful opportunity for us to say thank you to everyone.”

Hayley Williams, the charity’s retail area manager, said: “Since the shop opened in February 2015, nearly 25,000 items have been sold and over 70 bags of donations are made per week to the shop.

“We’d really like to thank the local community for their kind generosity and support.”

Since opening a year ago, the shop has generated enough income to give 150 children the chance to visit Chestnut Tree House for a day and enjoy the hospice’s facilities and a range of activities whilst giving mum and dad a break from the daily care.

The shop, which has become well known locally for stocking a huge variety of both chic and stylish items, is always looking for donations.

Helen and her team are also looking for volunteers to help out.

If you are interested, please pop into the shop for a chat, or call 01903 706315 or email volunteers@stbh.org.uk

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