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As one door closes, another opens
There were a few tears shed on Friday (25th September) as the doors closed for the final time on a charity furniture shop in Avon Road, Cranham.
Pam Court, the CEO of Saint Francis Hospice joined three Trustees of the charity that cares for local people affected by a life-limiting illness, to hold a farewell tea party for the generous volunteers who have given so much of their time and energy over the years at the shop at 127 Avon Road.
The shop was unusual in that the freehold was owned by the hospice whereas all the other 15 Saint Francis Hospice shops operate out of leased premises. The Avon Road shop has been sold to release funds that will be used to spend on building works planned for the hospice main centre in Havering-atte-Bower so that the hospice, that last year celebrated its 30th birthday, can continue to provide services for the next 30 years.
The closure of the Avon Road shop comes shortly after the reopening of a much larger furniture store in Hilldene Avenue, Harold Hill where all the remaining stock at Avon Road will be put on sale. The new location has the advantage of a much bigger area to display the furniture that has been donated and good facilities for both shoppers and the volunteers working in the shop. There is also plenty of parking outside making it easy to drop off or take away goods.
Michelle Nicholls, General Manager Retail said: "We owe huge thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who have worked in our Avon Road shop over the years and to all the customers who supported it by donating goods or buying items of furniture. We do hope that local people in Cranham will continue to support our work in their community by visiting our shop in St Mary's Lane Upminster and our brand new, much larger, furniture shop in Harold Hill. We also have lots of places all around the area where people can drop off goods to be sold in our shops including Cranham Computers at 89 Front Lane, in Cranham. We also offer a house clearance service where we can send our team and a van round to collect larger, bulkier items."
Pam Court, the CEO of Saint Francis Hospice said: "The sale of the Avon Road shop will help fund the future of the hospice. We remain committed to helping the people of Cranham who are affected by a life-limiting illness. Today around 85% of all the people we help are cared for in their own homes and our community teams of clinical nurse specialists and Hospice at Home nurses will be continuing their work in Cranham just as they have always done."
To finds out more details of all the Saint Francis Hospice shop locations and details of the Drop Spots for donations click here.
The last Retail Manager of the Avon Road furniture shop, John Booth (right) receives his thank you award from (left to right) Saint Francis Hospice Trustee Stephen Roome, CEO Pam Court and General Manager Retail, Michelle Nicholls.