The 2015 Hospice UK Retail Awards recognised innovation and commitment.
Diane Sedgley, St Giles Hospice
Hospice Retail Staff Member of the Year
Diane Sedgley, retail manager at St Giles Hospice, was named Hospice Retail Staff Member of the Year for her impressive dedication to generating funds for hospice care for local people and their families, since joining in 2012.
In her time with St Giles, Diane has, among other achievements, overseen the development of two new shops and, most recently, she has been appointed furniture manager and has set up a new house clearance service.
Peter Holliday, group chief executive of St Giles commented: "Our group of hospice shops contributes over £0.75m each year to the voluntary funding of St Giles Hospice. More than that, however, each shop is an integral part of its local community, often seen as a local gathering place. Thus they are much more than just fundraisers.
"Behind this success is a team of highly motivated individuals. Diane is an exceptional example of someone who both engages with the local community and has an eye for driving income. We are delighted she has received this award as it will be an enormous inspiration to all our staff."
Springhill Hospice, Rochdale
Most Inventive Hospice Retail Initiative
Springhill Hospice in Rochdale scooped Most Inventive Hospice Retail Initiative Award for transforming a previously empty local pub into a thriving tea room and gift shop.
In early 2014, Springhill Hospice made the bold decision to purchase an empty public house close to the hospice. With the support and dedication of people across the community, including hospice employees, volunteers and local businesses, Springhill Hospice thoroughly renovated the space and opened the tearoom and gift shop in December 2014.
The pub’s living space upstairs has also been turned into offices for the fundraising team who sometimes get called down to make the tea when it gets extra busy.
Although still in its infancy, takings are increasing weekly as word spreads and the tea room is busy every day. An outside seating area is being set up for the summer months and the hospice is recruiting more staff and volunteers to meet demand.
Julie Halliwell, chief executive at Springhill Hospice, said: "Staff and volunteers have worked so hard to renovate the premises and get the tea room and gift shop up and running. They very much deserve recognition for the work they have done.
"It is increasingly difficult to secure the funds we need to operate the hospice, and we are constantly looking for innovative income generation schemes. The sale of the pub came at just the right time for us, and gave us an opportunity to house our income services team at the same time as developing the tea room and gift shop."
Antonia Bunnin, director of hospice support and development at Hospice UK, praised both of the winners: "The theme of this year’s Retail Conference is ‘Growing Stronger Together’ – sharing the experiences of our winners is one way we can help hospices to do this.
"Diane is a shining example of the dedication and versatility that hospice retail staff need to run great shops and get new ideas off the ground. She is a truly deserving winner of Hospice Retail Staff Member of the Year.
"The way that Springhill Hospice has brought The Craven back to life, back to the community – all while raising vital funds for hospice care – is a wonderfully impressive and creative initiative that deserves to be recognised."