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September saw the 16 year old Ashgate Hospice store in Bolsover receive a new look makeover.
Bolsover is the oldest Ashgate Hospice store, and is the first of six stores in a rolling refurbishment programme to upgrade the face of Ashgate across Derbyshire.
Ashgate Hospice is an independent registered charity that provides specialist palliative care and support, both at the Hospice and within the community, for adults and their families across North Derbyshire. Everything Ashgate Hospice does gives patients and their families all the help and care they need to continue living for every day.
The Hospice is working to improve the look and feel of all the stores to become more inviting to their valued customers. The refurbishment lasted two weeks, using local contractors and a team of volunteers, led by Bolsover Store Manager Elaine Greenwood, to ensure the store was filled with goodies.
Graham Richardson, Retail and Trading Manager for Ashgate Hospice, said: "The Bolsover store was our first port of call in the refurbishment programme because it really was ready for a make-over. Now it's complete and our customers are queuing outside to take a look. It's a great feeling to see how the manager and team have transformed the store and we are so proud that that everyone is here to share that with us."
Ashgate Hospice is working in partnership with The Source to offer their volunteers a professional development plan. Scarcely seen in charitable organisations, Ashgate Hospice stores are investing time to give both volunteers and staff the opportunity to gain retail skills and a nationally recognised qualification in the workplace.
Mike Denby, Head of Employer Engagement at The Source, said: "We are working with Ashgate Hospice to offer their staff members a work based qualification in retail. Charitable organisations provide a great service to customers and we are proud to support them."
Jean Houghton, Trust Board Director of the Ashgate Hospice attended the special occasion to help mark the start of a very busy few months for the Hospice. She said: "It's a great privilege to be opening the first refurbished store in Bolsover. I am sure you will all agree that it looks fantastic and well done to everyone who has been involved in the development."
Graham Richardson continued: "2009 has seen some great changes for Ashgate Hospice and there are many more to come, from opening our first ever dedicated furniture and electrical store in Hasland later this year, to launching a retro store offering a totally new shopping experience with Ashgate in 2010 - it's all really exciting."
Image: Graham Richardson and Jean Houghton from Ashgate Hospice