Rowcroft Hospice is delighted to announce the re-opening of its Wellswood boutique in Ilsham Road and its Babbacombe shop in Reddenhill Road. After months of closure due to the pandemic, with the recent lifting of government restrictions these two charity shops can finally get back to their job of raising vital funds to care for people with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon.
“Rowcroft’s shops have been closed for more than three months and this has led to a substantial loss of income for the charity,” explains Caroline Wannell, Rowcroft’s Head of Retail. “We are so thrilled to be re-opening two of our shops in Torquay this week. Staff and volunteers in our Babbacombe shop and Wellswood boutique are really excited about welcoming their customers back, so please do pop in to browse the gorgeous range of pre-loved clothing and other items, all at great prices, and why not treat yourself to something special. We have something for everyone, including a fabulous selection of ladies fashion, menswear, shoes, bags, jewellery, books and homeware. Shopping with Rowcroft is a fantastic way to support local people with life-limiting illnesses; it also enhances your sustainable fashion wardrobe – as most items are pre-loved and recycled, and therefore much better for our planet than buying new.”
The re-opening of the Babbacombe and Wellswood shops is the latest in Rowcroft’s phased re-opening of its sixteen shops and cafes across the region. Six of Rowcroft’s shops are now open: Dartmouth, Totnes, Paignton town centre, Paignton furniture, and now the Babbacombe and Wellswood shops. Offering a wide variety of good quality donated items, the shops are open five days per week: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 4pm (the Dartmouth shop is open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am to 4pm). The reduced trading hours enable the stores to be thoroughly deep cleaned each day.
Caroline added “Throughout all of our shops, the safety of our customers, volunteers and staff remains our over-riding priority. We are taking every precaution to keep everyone safe by following all the latest government guidance including:
communicating social distancing rules to customers, reducing the numbers of customers in store at any one time, offering hand sanitiser to customers entering our shops, ensuring that staff and volunteers wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, conducting thorough and regular deep cleaning, and quarantining donated goods for at least 72-hours prior to sorting or selling them.”
The money raised from Rowcroft’s shops funds high quality end-of-life care to patients and their families across South Devon. Rowcroft cares for all patients — regardless of background, circumstance or diagnosis, including those with COVID-19 — in their own homes and in Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit in Torquay.
Rowcroft’s expert care has been rated as ‘outstanding’ (the highest possible rating) by the Care Quality Commission. The charity’s central philosophy is to put the patients’ choices at the centre of their end-of-life care: this means helping patients to die well, with the dignity and respect that everyone deserves.
As lockdown measures start to lift across the country, Rowcroft has been overwhelmed by an exceptionally high volume of donated items. With many of its stores still closed and unable to shift donated stock, and with the additional logistical challenges of quarantining donated goods for 72 hours, lack of storage has become an increasing issue, forcing the charity to suspend accepting donations of goods for the time being.
“It’s wonderful that so many people have had a really good clear-out during lockdown and have generously donated their items to us,” says Caroline. “We are so incredibly grateful for those donations. However, at present, we are sadly unable to accept any further goods, due to being totally overwhelmed by an unprecedented quantity of donations. Therefore, we kindly request that, if possible, people hold onto their good quality items for the time being, until we have the capacity to accept donated goods again. We’ll keep everyone updated with news — via our shop windows, social media, and our website at www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk — about when we can take donations again. In the meantime, we apologise for any inconvenience caused, and we thank everyone for their patience and support in this matter.
“We are so grateful to our amazing volunteers for all their help in running our many shops, we simply couldn’t operate without them. Volunteering is a great thing to do to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.”
Volunteers form the backbone of the charity’s retail workforce, but with a large proportion of volunteers in the ‘self-isolating or shielding’ category, Rowcroft is appealing for more volunteers to come forward to help out.
For further details about Rowcroft’s shops and volunteering, or for more information about Rowcroft Hospice, please see: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk or call 01803 210800.
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