Volunteers who were invited to set up a charity stall at Magpas after being told to vacate their home of 25 years at Hinchingbrooke Hospital have raised nearly £14,000 in just over a year.
In July 2013, changes made to the Huntingdon hospital’s entrance led to the team behind the enterprise being told they could no longer sell items there, despite having raised about £1million for new equipment.
Instead, they were asked if they wanted to fundraise on behalf of the emergency medical charity at its headquarters in St Mary’s Street, Huntingdon.
And since the move, they have raised £13,725 at their new home, which takes up a large space of the ground floor.
Brenda Stevens, who helped set up the stall at Magpas, having volunteered at the hospital previously, said the shop had changed significantly since it was first established.
“Over time we have been given more and more items and the shop is getting busier, people are starting to realise where we are. We are probably the cheapest charity shop in the area.”
Brenda dedicates four days a week to volunteer in the shop and is one of 14 volunteers. She added: “It is a really social place to volunteer and Magpas is a very good cause. We get no direct government funding and rely on donations and volunteers.”
Business has been brisk, with a huge amount of stock being donated, meaning other ways to fundraise with the items have been explored. Volunteers attend car boot sales, and stock is often sold via the app Ziffit, or purchased by East London Textiles, a company specialised in recycling used clothes.
A cake sale is held at the charity HQ on the last Friday of every month, where all items on the stall are available at half price.
Debbie Florence, head of fundraising at Magpas, thanked all those who help at the shop.
“The dedication of the shop volunteers has been amazing, and so has the response from the general public, with so many items being donated,” she said.
“Thanks to everyone’s support we can continue to bring A&E care by land and by air to patients in life threatening emergencies.”
She also appealed for more volunteers, to help at the shop and to sort the stock.
INFORMATION: The stall is at Centenary House, St Mary’s Street, Huntingdon and open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. For more on volunteering opportunities, call Debbie on 01480 371060 or email Debbie@magpas.org.uk.