Hospice shop wins retail award
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.