THE first of two new shops which will raise money for a hospice has been officially opened.
Hayling Island now boasts a Rowans Hospice shop in Mengham Road which it is hoped will be as popular as the 10 other shops and a warehouse across the area.
Retail is one of the main ways the hospice, in Purbrook, raises funds.
The new Mayor of Havant, Councillor Gerald Shimbart, and his wife, Councillor Elaine Shimbart, yesterday opened the store.
He said: ‘There were lots of people there, it was looking very nice.
‘I must compliment them for transforming it – they only got in there on Monday. I was very pleased to be their first customer.’
Cllr Shimbart will open another store in Park Parade, Leigh Park, next Tuesday.
Vanessa Gilding, facilities manager for The Rowans Hospice Trading Company, said: ‘We are really excited to be opening two new shops less than a week apart.
‘Already the response to the new shops has been very positive with over 50 volunteers coming forward to offer their time.
‘We are already really well supported by our very active Hayling Island support group and we look forward to serving and getting to know the residents of Hayling Island and Leigh Park better.’
Last year the Trading Company generated a profit of £374,000 and, with demands on The Rowans Hospices services continuing to increase, every penny is thankfully received and desperately needed.
The Hayling store opening falls within a week-long nationwide drive for charity shop stock donations.
Natasha Robinson, national fundraising manager at Help the Hospices, the charity for hospice care, said: ‘Hospices are rooted in the communities they serve, which is reflected by their presence on our local high streets.
‘In 2010, more than £40m was raised by hospice shops which helped fund hospice services for more than 360,000 seriously ill people, their friends and family.
‘Donations are vital to the success of our shops.’