Staff and management at Alice House Hospice say they are saddened to report that their Horden charity shop suffered a devastating fire in October, resulting in the closure of the shop and the loss of its entire stock.
Initially believed to be the result of an electrical fault, further investigations confirmed that it was in fact a burglary and intentional arson.
The loss of this shop leaves a forecasted deficit of £24,000 per year, and hospice staff are appealing for donations of stock for the other two shops in that area, Peterlee and Blackhall, in an attempt to recoup that potential lost revenue.
Karen Witherley, Senior Manager Retail, said: “This has been a devastating loss to the Retail Team, the hospice and ultimately to our patients and their families.
“Our charity shops are a vital source of funding and to not only lose the shop but all of the stock it contained is so disappointing.
“We are shocked to think that someone could do such a thing to a local charity.”
Donations can be taken directly to the Peterlee and Blackhall shops, or collection can be arranged by calling the hospice shop warehouse on (01429) 234143.
Alice House Hospice, based in Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, is a registered charity offering specialist palliative care to hundreds of adults from Hartlepool and East Durham each year.