TV agony aunt Denise Robertson opens new charity shop

Denise robertson open a new St Cuthbert's Hospice shop in Houghton. Pictured with retail supervisors Tracy Chester (left) and Dorothy Cummings (right).

Denise robertson open a new St Cuthbert's Hospice shop in Houghton. Pictured with retail supervisors Tracy Chester (left) and Dorothy Cummings (right).

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A SPECIAL guest was on hand to officially open a hospice’s charity shop.

Agony aunt and TV favourite Denise Roberston did the honours when she cut the ribbon on St Cuthbert’s Hospice’s latest store.

Decked in patriotic red, white and blue to mark Diamond Jubilee week, the new shop opened with a launch event in Newbottle Street, Houghton.

Guests were treated to light refreshments, Union Flag cupcakes and brownies, as they got the chance to browse the new store.

Denise, who is an avid supporter of the hospice’s annual Midnight Walk, said: “I’m privileged to be at the shop opening and the new branch looks wonderful.

“The hospice does a fantastic job supporting people in North Durham and beyond and I truly hope that this shop is a huge success.”

The hospice now has seven shops across Durham and Wearside, with them last year generating about £190,000, helping the hospice hit its annual fund-raising target of £1.2million.

Marcia Leathard, retail operations manager at the hospice, said: “The new shop is a really exciting venture for St Cuthbert’s and we hope that it will allow us to fully integrate into the community.

“The dedication and commitment of our managers, retail supervisors and volunteers has been heart-warming and I’m sure they will have every success going forward.”

The hospice is currently looking for good quality items to sell in the shop.

To donate or to become a hospice shop volunteer, phone 386 1170 or visit www.stcuthbertshospice.com for further information.

Twitter: @sunechochief

Why funds are urgently needed

While the Primary Care Trust provides some of funding for the hospice, the remaining £1.2million needed is raised through the generosity of people who make donations and support the charity shops and fund-raising events.

What those costs mean:

l Each overnight stay at the hospice costs St Cuthbert’s £370 per person;

lThe Day Hospice sessions costs St Cuthbert’s £150 per person;

lThe hospice provides services free of charge, which means they must raise more than £4,300 every day to ensure the facility can continue to provide the services needed.