New retail manager checks out hospice shops as plans to expand press on

Marie Leighton has been appointed as retail manager for St Benedict's Hospice.
Marie Leighton has been appointed as retail manager for St Benedict's Hospice.
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A hospice has plans in store to ensure its work is funded in the future.

St Benedict’s in Ryhope has appointed Marie Leighton as its a new retail manager.

We obviously have overheads to pay but it’s vital our shops are offering the best retail experience as the profits they raise enables the charity to make a real difference to our patients and their families.

Catrina Flynn, fundraising manager for St Benedict’s Hospice

Her work could see it open more shops to raise its income, with improvements in the pipeline for the three it already runs, including its furniture store in Ryhope Road.

Marie, who has formerly worked for Iceland supermarket and The Children’s Society, said: “I’m really looking forward to working with our store managers and all the volunteers, to offer the best possible retail experience to shoppers.

“Charity shops today need to be clean, airy and clutter free.

“It’s about bringing them more in line with other high street shops, and endeavouring to gain the maximum income possible from the goods that are so kindly donated by members of the public.

“At the same time we want to offer customers the chance to feel that they’re getting a bargain while they support their local hospice.”

Marie plans to work with the JobCentre and education providers to offer volunteering placements with an NVQ qualification.

Catrina Flynn, fundraising manager at St Benedict’s, said: “We think Marie, with her enthusiasm and extensive experience in the world of charity retailing, will do a fantastic job for the hospice.

“The selling of items donated to us by the public is a very valuable source of income.

“We obviously have overheads to pay, but it’s vital our shops are offering the best retail experience as the profits they raise enables the charity to make a real difference to our patients and their families.”