Hospice work­ers fi­nally get room they need

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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