Help St Barnabas’s bid to become ‘top of the shops’

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DID you receive a festive gift that sadly lacked the ‘X-mas Factor’?

Then the network of fundraising shops run by St Barnabas Hospice would like to put it to good use – and enhance the care of local people in their final stage of life.

The charity has launched its annual appeal for unwanted or duplicate Christmas presents to kick-start its 30th anniversary year.

The campaign comes as St Barnabas installs new Gift Aid tills into all of its stores. This enables people who pay tax, and make a donation of any kind, to allow the charity to claim back the basic tax rate on their gift – boosting their contribution by an extra 20 per cent.

So this means if a person donates money or a gift worth £10, it is worth £12 to St Barnabas.

The charity has a network of 23 shops across the county, and together they contribute more than £400,000 towards the annual running costs of the hospice’s ever-expanding range of services.

The eight shops it has across Skegness (two), Louth, Horncastle, Boston, Spilsby, Mablethorpe and Alford will themselves generate more than £130,000 directly towards patient care, thanks to donations from the local community.

The shops – and the army of unpaid volunteers who make them such a success – play an important role not just in raising money, but also in raising awareness of the work of the charity.

“Without our shops, our team of volunteers, and the support we get from the local community, we would not be in a position to help so many people in so many important ways,” said Neil Paulger, the charity’s director of business development.

“As we enter 2012, we are looking for more people to contribute to our future success by joining our friendly team of volunteers. We are looking for people of all ages, from all walks of life, who live in any area of the county, to spare a few hours each week and help us make a difference.

“Each shop is at the heart of the community it serves and provides a vital and accessible source of information about the hospice and its services.

“As well as making leaflets available, the shops’ staff are always available to answer any questions that are asked and, if they are unable to help themselves, will put visitors in touch with a member of the local hospice team who can.

“All shops have been refurbished, providing customers with an improved buying experience, and everyone is met with a warm welcome.”

Anyone wishing to donate clothing, CDs, electrical items and furniture may do so by dropping the items into any shop. Alternatively, the charity can arrange collection by ringing Lincoln (01522) 559500.

Anyone wishing to volunteer in a shop may enquire at any shop or contact Lincoln 01522 559500.