Ashton shop celebrates its official re-opening
The Ashton shop in Prospect Place underwent a complete refit and extension earlier this year and now boasts a whole new shop front as well as new flooring, windows, lighting and shop fittings, along with new office and sorting space and volunteers’ area.
The official re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by one of the shop’s longest-standing volunteers Vera Bolton, who stepped down from her role in December after 32 incredible years.
Other guests at the event included the Mayor of Preston Coun Margaret McManus, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at St Catherine’s Hospice Cliff Hughes, Chief Executive Stephen Greenhalgh and other long-standing supporters of the shop.Vera was originally a member of the Ashton Support Group and gave her time each week up until 85th birthday.
Back in 1982 she saw an advert about a public meeting to discuss creating a hospice for Central Lancashire and went along to find out more. Although she did not know exactly what ‘hospice care’ was at that time, she had recently lost her husband Ted at the age of just 57 to cancer.
“There was nothing like St Catherine’s around then,” the grandmother-of-three said. “Ted was at home when he died and there wasn’t much help and support – so when I found out more about the hospice, I could really relate to what it was trying to achieve. It was an exciting time – people were coming together, wanting to make a difference, and I was really pleased to be involved.”
She still keeps in touch with her friends at the shop and said she was impressed with the transformation that had taken place inside and out.
Vera, from Fulwood, said: “The shop looks lovely and the new windows in particular are fantastic – they really give the opportunity to show off what’s inside.
“I loved my time as a volunteer at the shop – we had such a laugh! I’ve seen many changes over the years – from the days of the big, old-fashioned tills to this latest refurbishment. I’m really pleased to have been part of the official re-opening.”
The Mayor of Preston Coun Margaret McManus said she too loved the new-look store.
She said: “St Catherine’s is a charity close to my heart. My husband Roger had treatment in St Catherine’s and the care and attention he received was second to none.
“Everyone does a fantastic job both working and volunteering for St Catherine’s and it’s great to see the transformation of the Ashton shop. St Catherine’s is one of my Mayoral charities and I am proud to be fund raising for such a worthy cause.”
During 2015, St Catherine’s is appealing for 30 new volunteers for their charity shops – their target in the 30th anniversary Give A Gift campaign with the Lancashire Evening Post.
Vacancies are available at their shops across Chorley, Preston and South Ribble – including at a new boutique in Black Bull Lane, Fulwood.
To find out more and view the latest vacancies visit our volunteers page here.
To get involved in our ‘Give a Gift’ campaign as we celebrate our 30th birthday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 695290.
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