Published on: Friday 06 Jan 2023 at 16:13
Grand opening of St Clare Hospice shop in Bishop’s Stortford
And they are open! The latest St Clare Hospice charity shop officially opened its doors on Friday 6th January 2023.
The West Essex and East Herts charity shop open its doors to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended the Bishop’s Stortford Mayor, Cllr Dave Anderson, St Clare CEO Sarah Thompson, St Clare Trustee Mark Astarita as well as a team of dedicated St Clare staff and volunteers. A special guest for the opening was Caroline Soper who was re-married to her beloved Clive at the St Clare Inpatient Unit in 2020 after being divorced for 36 years.
Lesley Glynn, St Clare Hospice Head of Retail said, “This has been an exciting project to work on, as this new South Street shop is our largest shop to date apart from our Clearance Outlet in Harlow and is the jewel in the crown of our sustainable fashion drive. Every penny raised helps us care for the people of Bishop’s Stortford who need specialists end of life care.”
The South Street charity shop is the place to shop for great quality items including womenswear, menswear, footwear and accessories. The opening marks an exciting first for the town with a St Clare clothes and accessories shop which will complement the charity’s existing specialist music and book shop in Deovils Lane which opened in 2009.
Claire Keen, the daughter of Clive and Caroline Soper said, “Although my Mum and Dad were divorced they were still great friends and both lived in Bishop’s Stortford but in separate houses. When my Mum was diagnosed with cancer, Dad converted his dining room into a bedroom so he could look after her. She recovered well, but never moved out again!
Dad then became ill himself in 2020 and was admitted to the St Clare Inpatient Unit for end of life care. It was his dying wish that they re-married, 36 years after they first divorced. Neither of them had ever married in the meantime.
“We didn’t think we could do it in time but thanks to the amazing efforts from Ann, their chaplain, and her team, this was made possible for them. It was such a lovely day and it was so nice to have something enjoyable amongst a lot of sadness. My parents were extremely happy and some great memories were made that my family and myself will remember forever. Thank you St Clare for all that you did for my family.”
The hospice’s retail team hopes the shop will become a destination for the ever-growing number of fans of preloved fashion as well as those familiar with the hospice making a difference to families like Claire and Caroline across West Essex and the borders of East Hertfordshire.
The new shop, at 45 South Street, will become the 9th St Clare Hospice charity shop and will play a vital role in ensuring it can supplement the limited funds received by the NHS and go on providing free specialist palliative care to the people of Bishop’s Stortford.
The team running the new shop is also on the lookout for good quality stock donations and volunteers. People with good quality preloved fashion and accessories can donate in-store at any time during opening hours or by arranging collections from home via the hospice’s website.
Those interested in volunteering, including work experience for people aged 16 and over, can also contact the shop for more information.
Find out more about the new St Clare Hospice South Street shop including opening times and how to apply to volunteer at: stclarehospice.org.uk
Be the first to hear about new shop openings, exclusive events and stock drops by following St Clare Hospice on Instagram @stclarehospice