East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is urging supporters with items for its shops to call and make sure there is space for them, with the charity anticipating another deluge of donations when non-essential retail returns on Monday (12 April).
Customers with donations urged to call ahead, as EACH prepares for shops reopening
EACH was overwhelmed with generosity upon shops reopening last year, when some saw almost a week’s worth of donations in a day, and says it may consider limiting daily donations this time round, if necessary to keep premises safe.
Sarah Throssell, EACH Acting Head of Retail, said: “We couldn’t provide the millions of pounds we ordinarily do to help the region’s most vulnerable children and their families without the continued kindness of everyone right across the region.
“However, we hope people will appreciate every shop will only be able to take so many donations before storage becomes an issue and the environment for staff and volunteers starts to become unsafe. While we have vans on the roads and helping move items to and from our larger retail distribution centre, there may be days we need to consider limiting donations, so we’re strongly advising supporters to call ahead to their nearest shop and check it’s a good time to drop things in.”
Phone numbers for EACH shops are online at www.each.org.uk/shops
EACH is opening its 43rd shop in Royston on Monday, with a ribbon to be cut by a family who have previously received care and support from the charity. It will be a special moment as it will not only mark the grand opening, but also the grand reopening of EACH outlets across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. The occasion will be a degree of relief to EACH as it has been losing £100,000 of income each of the 33 weeks its shops have been shut over the last year.
Sarah said: “We’re delighted to finally be throwing open our doors, again, and cannot wait to welcome back customers in what will be the same COVID-secure environments they had started to become familiar with. Our eBay and Amazon shops will be returning, too, whilst we announced the launch of Style With EACH, our new boutique on ASOS Maketplace, last week.
“Although these are positive and exciting times for us, there is still a lot to do as we expect high street retail to be depressed over the coming year and estimate a shortfall of £1.2 million in retail income against pre-COVID trading predictions.”
EACH will also be marking its shops reopening by launching a new Rainbow Butterfly bag for life and associated greetings card pack. They were designed by Norfolk artist and keen EACH supporter Lucy Loveheart, who put the pandemic at the heart of her creation. An exclusive print of the design is currently up for grabs via EACH’s Facebook page.
The good cause has become a leading organisation in the world of charity retail, with a burgeoning shop portfolio. It had opened seven shops in 2019 and one in Colchester just before the first lockdown, meaning the Royston outlet is set to be EACH’s first opening in just over a year.
The charity 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. It continues to ask supporters to hold on to these until Monday as any left outside shops can become damaged and result in EACH having to pay a disposal cost.
To put into context the difference just a small donation to a shop can make to the vital work EACH does, here are some examples of what your donation could pay for:
A top, skirt or pair of trousers worth £5 could pay for art supplies for a session of art therapy
A tea set worth £11 could help fund an hour of specialist play tailored to a child’s individual needs
A nice wedding hat or jacket worth £19 could help towards an hour of vital physiotherapy
An item of good-quality furniture or prom dress worth £24 could help fund an hour with a psychologist to help guide and support families going through, likely, the toughest period of their lives
Anyone interested in more information on volunteering at an EACH shop can email email@example.com or call Sarah on 07540 335680.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) aims to maximise the quality of life for children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, and to support their families.