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28 May 2024

Hundreds attend opening of "biggest charity shop in the Midlands"

Whitestone Shop and Cafe has opened its doors

Whitestone Shop and Cafe has opened its doors

St Michael’s Hospice says it has been amazed by the support for its newest charity shop – thought to be the biggest in the Midlands.

Hundreds flocked to its grand opening of the Whitestone Shop and Café last Thursday. Shoppers continued visiting the community-focused destination throughout the Bank Holiday weekend.

“We’re delighted by the support we’ve received from the community, and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit and buy some of our wonderful goods during these first few days,” said Rachel Jones, the Hospice’s Income Generation, Marketing & Communications Director.   

“Just to get to the point of opening our doors was a huge achievement, and I want to thank everyone who made this possible, and that includes staff, volunteers and local businesses.”

Whitestone boasts a café, over 14,000 sq ft of pre-loved shopping space, family-friendly zones, and a convenient Donation Centre, which opened earlier this year.  

As St Michael’s is currently celebrating its 40th year, it was only fitting that the official ribbon cutting to open the shop was performed by two of the charity’s longest-standing staff members, Stephen Rabbits and Debbie Smithers. Stephen started at St Michael’s as a volunteer before becoming Volunteer Coordinator. He is now a member of the Retail team. Debbie, meanwhile, joined as a Staff Nurse in 1989, and is now the Hospice’s Lead Teacher/Practitioner. 

Rachel said the shop is vital to St Michael’s pledge to care for as many people in the community as possible. The majority of the Hospice’s funding comes from supporters, with about £8millon raised each year by the community, which goes directly to the Hospice’s free-of-charge palliative and end-of-life care.

“This shop will ensure we can help hundreds and hundreds of people for many years to come,” she said. “We’re so grateful to everyone who has already visited, and we really hope our wonderful supporters continue to call in as every bit of profit which comes out of this shop will go towards the vital patient care provided by St Michael’s.”  

For those still planning their visit, the Whitestone Shop, Café and Donation Centre will be open 7 days a week; 9am to 5pm Monday – Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.  

St Michael’s Hospice have plans underway to further utilise this incredible building for the benefit of St Michael’s Hospice and the local community. This includes the development of an Education and Training Centre and the introduction of workshops and groups for members of the public to join. 

More information about St Michael’s Hospice Whitestone can be found here

Photos: Joe Nobile

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