Hos­pice shop wins re­tail award

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

Good qual­ity do­na­tions, hard­work­ing vol­un­teers and pride are some of the things that make the Strat­ford Hos­pice Shop so suc­cess­ful, says store man­ager Tania Brown.

Tania and the store’s many vol­un­teers are proud to have won the Dairy Mas­ter Milk­ing Sys­tems Best Re­tail Ser­vice Busi­ness cat­e­gory dur­ing the re­cent Strat­ford Press Romeo Busi­ness and Ser­vice Awards.

“It was pretty awe­some to win it — es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the cal­i­bre of shops we were up against,” says Tania.

The neat and tidy store which is full of hand-made knits, an­tiques, fur­ni­ture, bags of lemons, toys, clothes and bric-abrac is al­ways heav­ing with peo­ple keen to pick up some good qual­ity sec­ond hand items. Tania — who is also the south group re­tail man­ager for Hos­pice — says vol­un­teers take pride in en­sur­ing all do­nated goods are neat and tidy for sale and then pre­sented in an ap­peal­ing way. Things are changed around of­ten to keep the store’s lay­out easy to nav­i­gate and to keep things in­ter­est­ing. Tania says the win comes down to the com­mu­nity.

“Be­cause we are only as good as what is do­nated. Our vol­un­teers put a lot of time into mak­ing the shop the way it is. We are con­stantly get­ting good qual­ity items do­nated which makes a huge dif­fer­ence — Strat­ford re­ally sup­ports us.

“I like to think we are not an op-shop but a re­tail shop that sells sec­ond­hand items . . . we are al­ways evolv­ing to make it bet­ter.”

Tania says al­though win­ning the award made her feel like she had achieved her goal, she would con­tinue to work hard and make the shop a great place for the peo­ple of Strat­ford to shop. The pop­u­lar store moved to its cur­rent spot three years ago and the pop­u­lar­ity of the place has ex­ceeded Tania’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

Tania has been in the job for two-and-a-half years and says she loves the peo­ple and the cause be­hind it. Ev­ery sin­gle dol­lar made in the store goes straight to Hos­pice Taranaki. “The money made here helps so many peo­ple which we are re­ally proud of.”

Tania is grate­ful to all of the vol­un­teers who give up their time and are al­ways friendly and will­ing to have a bit of fun and a joke with their work­mates.

The store has around 36 ac­tive vol­un­teers, and some do up to 100 hours each month. In the last month the to­tal num­ber of vol­un­teer hours given was 1309.

“They do an in­cred­i­ble job and make the store the place it is. We will con­tinue to be the best that we can be.”

Hos­pice Taranaki CEO Paul Lamb thanked the Strat­ford com­mu­nity for sup­port­ing the vi­tal role of the Strat­ford Hos­pice shop “which turns sec­ond­hand goods into first class care for Hos­pice Taranaki”. “We pro­vide pal­lia­tive care ser­vices free of charge for pa­tients and their fam­i­lies, car­ing for peo­ple with any life lim­it­ing con­di­tion. It is all about treat­ing pa­tients with dig­nity and as­sist­ing them to feel em­pow­ered in mak­ing de­ci­sions about how they wish to be cared for.”

Strat­ford Hos­pice Shop man­ager Tania Brown with the store’s hard­work­ing vol­un­teers.

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