From do­na­tions of old clothes to golden oldies

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

A COM­BI­NA­TION of sales and songs have been at the heart of Kate Davies’ life at both work and play.

Her day job is man­ag­ing the East Cheshire Hospice char­ity shop in Ch­ester­gate, Mac­cles­field, while her hobby is pre­sent­ing a clas­sic mu­sic show for an on­line ra­dio sta­tion.

Kate, from Bolling­ton, is ap­ply­ing her vast re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence of old cloth­ing favourites to ben­e­fit the hospice which at­tracts around 900 shop­pers a week to its two shops and eBay site.

Re­tail rev­enue ac­counts for 10 per cent of the hospice in­come needed to care for pa­tients, il­lus­trat­ing its huge value to the char­ity.

Around 70 weekly do­na­tions in­clude clothes, small elec­tri­cal items, books, toys, shoes, jew­ellery and hand­bags. Fur­ni­ture is also col­lected and on dis­play at the Thorn­ton Square shop.

Kate said: “Not ev­ery­one gets ex­cited about delv­ing into a black bin liner full of stuff not know­ing what’s in there but I do. We get some amaz­ing do­na­tions and lots of de­signer clothes.

“In char­ity re­tail you never know what’s go­ing to come through the door and you make a nice warm wel­com­ing shop from what­ever is do­nated at that par­tic­u­lar time.

“It’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent dy­namic and that to me is what makes it ex­cit­ing.

“Peo­ple’s gen­eros­ity never ceases to amaze me and of­ten they don’t want pre-loved goods just to end up on the tip. We can make some­thing from it and get money from the rag man for the clothes we can’t sell.

“Our shops should be dif­fer­ent. We’re a car­ing char­ity and that care should con­tinue into the shops as well so vis­i­tors have a re­ally lovely wel­come when they walk through the door.”

Vol­un­teers are al­ways wel­come and sales are el­i­gi­ble for Gift Aid sup­port which means for ev­ery £1 re­ceived the hospice can claim a fur­ther 25p from the gov­ern­ment. Pic­tures of items for sale are shown on­line at www. echos­piceshop.org.uk.

Kate has been a ra­dio pre­sen­ter for more than 30 years, be­gin­ning in pi­rate ra­dio in Lon­don.

She pre-records her daily show on Decades Ra­dio fea­tur­ing golden oldies from the 50s to 80s from her back bed­room.

“That’s my stu­dio and it’s one of the joys of the com­puter age that you can now do such a thing.

“I love the buzz of ra­dio and re­tail and am pas­sion­ate about the hospice.”

●● Kate Davies, man­ager of the East Cheshire Hospice char­ity shop

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