Busy first day for hospice's new children's store in Stevenage

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Junior House at Stevenage Oval on April 12

L-R: Garden House Hospice Care CEO Sue Plummer, MP Stephen McPartland, GHHC trading chairman Steve Mellish, Mayor Councillor Jim Brown and Junior House manager Melody Banks - Credit: Garden House Hospice Care

Garden House Hospice Care opened a brand new store in Stevenage especially for children, as well as 11 other existing stores, in line with the April 12 lifting of restrictions.

Inside Junior House, Stevenage

Junior House opened for the first time on April 12, as lockdown restrictions eased - Credit: Garden House Hospice Care

The hospice shops were classed as ‘non-essential’, but the income raised through Garden House Hospice Care’s 12 stores and Distribution Centre are vital in raising a third of the income it takes to pay for essential palliative and end of life care services for local families.

Junior House, based in the Oval, Stevenage, opened its doors for the first time with support from Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland and Mayor, Councillor Jim Brown.

Crowds cheered to the cutting of the ribbon as they eagerly awaited their turn to shop.

Carla Pilsworth, director of income generation at the hospice said: “Today we open the doors to our 12 charity shops, after what seems like the most difficult year for the high street.

“It feels like a really positive start to the new financial year, our doors are back open and we’re thrilled to bring a new store to Stevenage in celebration.

Inside Junior HOuse, Stevenage

Junior House opened for the first time on April 12, as lockdown restrictions eased - Credit: Garden House Hospice Care

"Junior House is full to the brim with adorable, affordable fashion from 0-15 years.”

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Stephen McPartland, who attended the opening of the new shop, added: “It’s brilliant to see the Garden House Hospice Care shops reopening today. They provide vital services for the local community.

“Their catchphrase is ‘started by the community, serving the community, sustained by the community’ – what they do is incredible so please do come down, spend some money and support your local Garden House Hospice Care shop.”

Mayor, Councillor Jim Brown showed his support for the hospice, commenting: "Today is so important. The opening of the local high street means so much to local businesses and the communities they serve.

“Over the weekend there was such a buzz with shopkeepers getting ready for the big day.

"The atmosphere around Stevenage is great and I wish everyone well on their first day back open.

"To see so many people turn out to support the opening of Junior House is just fantastic. It’s such an important day for charity shops and today feels really positive.”

Find your local Hospice shop, visit www.ghhospicecare.org.uk/shops.