Hospice shop ticks off the Big 2-0h
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.