Hospice workers finally get room they need
The team at Mary Potter Hospice finally have room to breathe.
Workers and volunteers for the charity, which provides inhome care to more than 100 people from Wellington to Kapiti, found themselves cramped and running out of room in their Kenepuru offices and Tawa retail store. The amalgamation to a single, central site, at 1 Prosser St, from early January, was a welcome one, retail operations manager Lynn Blann says.
They have more than 200sqm to sell goods, share a truck dock, have off-street car parks for customers and can now house their administration staff and nurses in a 500sqm space, right next door.
‘‘We just out-grew our Tawa warehouse [ which will continue operating]. This place is amazing and the staff are absolutely delighted with it. Now the job we have is getting the word out that we’re here – it’s been very busy since we opened but it’s still important people know where we are.’’
The retail arm of Mary Potter Hospice began with a store in Kilbirnie 10 years ago and now has five outlets, bringing in more than $ 1 million a year. The Porirua store will be the warehouse for all the outlets, as well as having a huge shop selling everything from second-hand electrical goods, books, clothes and furniture.
Palliative care team leader Viveca Cullen is also exuberant about the new facility, which has a kitchen, space for counselling, conference room and open- plan work areas. There is plenty of room in the front of the building for poten- tial development plans, which may include an area available to the public.
‘‘We’re so happy to be in here. It’s more accessible and visible to people and we have such a close relationship with the people of Porirua that this [ new premises] can only improve.
‘‘ We’ve been around for more than 10 years but a lot of people are not sure where we are, so hopefully that will change. We have the shop next door, which is great and we hope to get buy-in from local businesses so we can grow and evolve.’’
Ms Blann says while they have more than 50 volunteers, who help as drivers, sorters and serve in the shop, more hands are always needed.
Opening the new premises will be celebrated next month.
Oodles of space: Volunteers Liz Pickering, left, and Dee Stella among the massive new retail space for Mary Potter Hospice in Prosser St.