Friday, 03 April 2020

End of Sue Ryder sales

End of Sue Ryder sales

SUE RYDER says it has tried unsuccessfully to keep its second-hand goods sales going after the closure of its Nettlebed hospice.

The charity says it couldn’t find a new home for them after searching for more than a year.

A spokeswoman said: “We put a significant amount of resource behind the search, including drafting in assistance from our retail colleagues as they have experience in sourcing large areas such as warehouses and industrial units.

“As well as needing a very large area in order to host the sales, we also needed somewhere which provided the necessary space for parking, donation stations and sorting areas. We also needed to consider the financial implications of leasing such a space as well as the insurance and number of staff needed in order to manage a new premises under current health and safety legislation.”

The charity is no longer accepting donations as the hospice will close at the end of next month. The final sales will be held tomorrow (Saturday) and on March 7 and 28.

Supporters are urged not to leave goods at Joyce Grove but smaller items can be given to the charity’s shops including the branch in Duke Street, Henley, while furniture in sellable condition can be collected free of charge.

The charity says the hospice building, which is Grade II listed, is too expensive to run and wasn’t built for purpose. It plans to concentrate instead on its “hospice at home” service, saying that most patients would prefer to spend their final days at home.

Volunteers have criticised the decision not to continue the sales, which have taken place every three weeks since the early Eighties, as they bring in about £500,000 per year.

The Sue Ryder spokeswoman said: “We are also disappointed that the sales are not something we will be able to carry forward and replicate once we have left Joyce Grove as the funds raised will be a huge loss to the charity and we recognise the social opportunities the sales provided for all of our wonderful volunteers.

“Sue Ryder remains reliant on the generous and vital support from the South Oxfordshire community as the charity will continue to provide the expert and compassionate palliative care we are so well known for.

“The funds raised from the sales and all the incredible volunteers who have made them possible have been a most wonderful support to the charity over the years and we would like to express our immense gratitude.

“We would also like to say a special thank-you to our supporters who have donated and attended the sales every three weeks. Your donations and support have and will continue to be greatly appreciated.”

The charity will not create new beds after the hospice closure but will refer patients to its palliative care hub, a telephone service which can offer advice or arrange home visits 24 hours a day. Day services will remain at the hospice until a new home is found.

Sue Ryder says demand for inpatient care has decreased in line with national trends so a new bedded centre wouldn’t be viable although this is disputed by campaigners who say their loved ones needed a hospice in their final days.

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