There were two awards presented at the 2016 Hospice UK Retail Conference.
Sue Bekhet, Nottinghamshire Hospice
Hospice Retail Staff Member of the Year
Sue has worked tirelessly for the Nottinghamshire Hospice for 22 years, and in doing so has been vital to the amazing care that the hospice delivers to people across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. In the last ten years as Area Retail manager, Sue has grown the hospice's retail operation to a £1.4m concern with 12 shops, diversified their offer with a retro and vintage shop, wedding shop and pop-up shops in universities and church meetings.
The link between Sue's work and the work of the hospice has always been clear but perhaps never more so than in the fact that eight customers have been directed into support from the hospice after sharing their concerns with retail managers, who Sue had arranged special training for. Sue's dedication to her role in the hospice, the people that the hospice supports, and the staff she manages is second to none.
The White Partnership, Jospice
Most Inventive Hospice Retail Initiative
With a demand for white goods among its customers and an opportunity to share its prime retail space, Jospice launched its innovative partnership with The Appliance Shop. Since offering half of its window frontage and some of its trading space to the local, independent white goods supplier, Jospice has reaped the benefits of working with a trusted local business while benefitting the community, customers and the hospice.
Jospice's main furniture store in Kensington, Liverpool, now holds 30 new and reconditioned white goods – fully guaranteed and delivered by The Appliance Shop – with 12% commission on each sale going to the hospice. The collaboration has bought in direct sales revenue of £1,703 in six months, and increased footfall to the store leading to 11% increase in shop turnover.
Hospice shops contribute profits of more than £60m to the £700m that hospices need to raise every year just to maintain current levels of care. With an ageing population and growing demand for hospice care in the UK, hospice retail is a vital source of income for high quality end of life care across the country.
Commenting on the two winners, Antonia Bunnin, Director of Hospice Support and Development at Hospice UK said:
“The level of commitment and inventive thinking in hospice retail never ceases to amaze me. Congratulations to all of our nominees and our worthy winners.
"The theme of this year's Hospice UK Retail Conference is ‘Beyond Traditional’ and our winners have certainly shown how thinking innovatively can not only drive revenue for hospice care, but also help local communities understand the support that their local hospice offers.
"With Jospice responding to the needs of its customers, expanding its offer and collaborating with a local business it has found a way to use its expertise to offer something new. With Sue Bekhet's passion for hospice care and support of her staff, customers are not only shopping in many wonderful retail locations, but are also being served by staff who are trained to help them access essential hospice care should they need it.”