From the very beginning of funding patient care in the 1980s, it was apparent that shop trading would play a big part. The first move came from members of the South Rushen fundraising committee in 1986, who had been offered the use of a shop in Port St Mary, owned by Mr. Bill Holtby, for the Easter period, and what a success it was! That Easter period extended over the next seven years. Thanks to Bill Holtby's generosity, South Rushen Committee volunteers were able to establish shop trading in Port St Mary and show the way forward for the rest of the Island.
Progress with more shops
During this time, the Hospice Publicity and Resources Committee had made progress. Our trading company: Share the Care Ltd was registered in 1988. A shop was leased at 88 Bucks Road, Douglas and later a saleroom facility set up in Richmond Grove, Douglas , to receive donated furniture too large for the shops. A second shop was leased in Arbory Street, Castletown, in 1989. The premises were later purchased through the generosity of the Scholl Foundation. In 1990 we opened a third shop, situated in Ramsey, followed by premises in Peel in 1992.
The Scholl Foundation continued its financial support by providing the funding for our Douglas shop in 1994. In 2002 the Castletown Shop was purchased, extended and refurbished.
In 1999 we opened a premises in Onchan.
Salerooms are a success!
The success of Saturday saleroom furniture sales in Douglas, led the Directors to lease a double unit in Port Erin in 1995. This allowed the volunteers to sell donated clothes, bric-a-brac, and furniture.
Our Peel shop moved to Michael Street in 2003 providing the opportunity to open a furniture saleroom facility.
Salerooms are a large percentage of Share the Care income. The largest Saleroom facility being in Spring Valley, Braddan.
Share the Care's dividend to Hospice.
Share the Care has consistently paid in the region of £400,000 annually. This is a tremendous community project relying on the generosity of over 300 volunteers giving their time and donors providing goods to sell. Most important of all are the customers who make their purchases.
Volunteer support symbolises caring and sharing by the community in a variety of ways. Since Hospice Isle of Man opened in 1988, volunteers have risen to a wide variety of challenges by manning our 6 Hospice Shops and 2 Furniture Salerooms.
The Hospice Shops Volunteer Service is run by the Share the Care Manager with assistance when needed from Hospice Care's Volunteer Manager. We now have over 300 volunteers working in our 8 Hospice Shop premises. They give up their time on a regular basis to be a vital part in the smooth running of our shops which open 6 days a week. Without their generosity and goodwill we could not function and we rely very much on our volunteers and are extremely grateful to them all.
There are a variety of roles that the volunteers perform. Volunteers can help by sorting and pricing items, serving at the till and window dressing. You do not have to have an office or retail background to volunteer, just some freetime that you can give to us on a regular basis, a couple of hours a week is greatly appreciated. You can start volunteering at 16 and there is no upper age limit! We also have several Duke of Edinburgh award students who help throughout the year in our shops and warehouses. As a volunteer, you will be helping to generate a large amount of money which goes towards the cost of in-patient care in the community.
In September 2002, Hospice were made aware of a newly-created award launched to commemorate Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee, which "recognises the vital role played by hundreds of thousands of 'unsung heroes' of the community and voluntary world and emphasises the importance of continuing recognition of their work." Hospice Isle of Man Volunteers were chosen to be among the very first to receive this award covering the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Would you like to become a Hospice Shop Volunteer?
If you would like to volunteer we would love to hear from you. Please ring 615055 and talk to any of the admin team.