Hos­pice shop ticks off the Big 2-0h

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

Shop­pers were given lol­lies and spe­cial dis­counts when Aro­hanui Hos­pice held its 20th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions on Mon­day.

Aro­hanui Hos­pice opened in 1991, and to sup­port the re­gion’s pal­lia­tive care fa­cil­ity, the first vol­un­teer-staffed hos­pice shop opened in a small build­ing on Wald­ing St in Septem­ber 1995.

‘‘When we first opened it was only from 1pm to 4pm,’’ re­calls for­mer hos­pice vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor, Sue McOviney who helped set up the shop with De­bra Archer, Wendy Gillespie and Carol Fitch­ett.

‘‘We usu­ally had two vol­un­teers on plus Wendy and my­self. We had a tiny area where the vol­un­teers could have a cof­fee and tea.

‘‘A lot of my vol­un­teers worked at the hos­pice in the morn­ing and then went onto help at the hos­pice shop.

‘‘The chief ex­ec­u­tive at the time then used to come about 4pm cash up and shut up shop,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s come a long way since then.’’ The busi­ness grew quickly, mov­ing first to Ngata St and then to its present lo­ca­tion next to McDon­alds at 285 Ran­gi­tikei St. The re­lo­ca­tion ef­fort re­sulted in it re­ceiv­ing a com­men­da­tion in the Health and Well­be­ing cat­e­gory of the Trust­Power 2010 Com­mu­nity Awards.

Since 1995, the num­ber of Aro­hanui Hos­pice Shops has grown to six with fur­ther stores based in Roslyn, Feild­ing, Levin, Otaki and Tai­hape, all con­tribut­ing to the $2.3mil­lion fund­ing short­fall needed by the hos­pice to main­tain its core op­er­at­ing costs.

‘‘We are so lucky that over the last 20 years we have had an over­whelm­ing amount of sup­port from the lo­cal res­i­dents,’’ says Aro­hanui Hos­pice’s Louise Curtis.

‘‘We also owe a huge debt to the vol­un­teers who work tire­lessly in our stores. They put a smile on so many peo­ple’s faces and we couldn’t even be­gin to work out how many hours peo­ple have do­nated to us in the last 20 years. Thank you.’’

The cel­e­bra­tions con­tinue at the Ran­gi­tikei St store for the rest of the week with a half price sale, spot prizes and sweets, while vol­un­teers were treated to cake on Mon­day as a small ges­ture of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their end­less hours of good­will and ser­vice.

For more about Aro­hanui Hos­pice and its ser­vices, visit aro­hanui­hos­pice.org.nz or con­tact 356 6606.

Twenty fun-filled fund-rais­ing years were cel­e­brated on Mon­day at the Ran­gi­tikei St Aro­hanui Hos­pice shop. Lois Roberts and Mer­ren Henry cut the cake to share with other store vol­un­teers.

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