Potential of shops boosted by academy training from new course
Thanks to funding from Health Education Thames Valley, staff at Rennie Grove Hospice Care and Willen Hospice will undertake a sixmonth course developed by Buckinghamshire New University, The Clare Foundation and John Lewis High Wycombe.
Dubbed the ‘Retail Academy,’ the six modules will be delivered by lecturers from Bucks New University and senior staff members from Rennie Grove at The Clare Foundation from January until June.
Delegates will also benefit from a day-long training workshop at John Lewis in High Wycombe.
The course has been designed specifically for the voluntary sector and is aimed at ensuring that shops belonging to the two charities are as effective as possible, focusing on aspects such as leadership skills, managing volunteers and merchandising.
Rennie Grove Hospice Care welcomes the comprehensive training package for all their shop managers and assistant managers across their 24 shops.
Rennie Grove’s director of retail and trading Deborah Gould said: “Our 24 shops and other retail initiatives are tasked with bringing in over £2million.
“The Academy offers an excellent opportunity for new and existing managers to maximise the incomegenerating potential of their specific shop. It will help them understand what sells well and how to optimise those trends through effective leadership, marketing and business development. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity – and all at no cost to the charity thanks to our generous funders and partners.”
Principal lecturer in advanced and continuing professional
visual development Dr Lesley Bridges and Dean for enterprise and business management Dr Rebecca Chandler-Wilde head the course for Bucks New University.
Dr Bridges said: “The programme has been developed for managers working in the charitable retail sector. It aims to enhance and develop managers’ knowledge and skills of leadership and business management in order to respond effectively to the challenges faced in the charitable sector.”
Community liaison coordinator at John Lewis High Wycombe Dawn Stokoe said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to share our skills and expertise in shop keeping and excellence in customer service.”
Martin Thornton of The Clare Foundation, said he hoped should the course prove successful it may be extended to include other charities.
He added: “The Clare Foundation’s raison d’être is to help charities work in a more businesslike fashion so this project is a natural fit for us.”