Wisbech mayor dons charity shop outfit to open new Norfolk Hospice shop
The mayor and mayoress of Wisbech showed off their recycling credentials when they welcomed the town's newest charity shop.
Mayor Jonathan Farmer and his wife Susanah donned pre-loved outfits as they officially opened the Norfolk Hospice shop in Union Street at 10am on Monday.
The town mayor said: 'The Norfolk Hospice does very good work and this charity shop is most welcome in Wisbech and we wish it all the best for the future.
'We are very lucky in Wisbech because we don't have many empty shops at the moment and don't have too many charity shops. The charity shops we do have here, however, offer a cheaper alternative for clothing and are certainly good for recycling here.'
He added: 'Most of what we are wearing today has come from charity shops – apart from our underwear and socks.'
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The Norfolk Hospice has opened its first shop outside of the county to raise money to help run a new �4m full-service hospice in Hillington, near King's Lynn.
The charity currently supports more than 280 people every month at its hospice in Snettisham. Its yearly running costs stand at �1.4m but these will rise to �3.4m once the new hospice is operational in 2013.
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The charity now has six shops across Norfolk and the Fens, including ones in King's Lynn, Fakenham and Downham Market to help raise much-needed funds.
Glenda Skipper, the charity's director of finance, said: 'We have decided to open a charity shop in Wisbech to boost funds but also because we care for people in the town and right across North Cambridgeshire so it's good for us to have a presence here.
'We do, however, need lots of volunteers to come along and help run this shop and we are in need of good quality clothing.'
She added: 'We are also hoping to open up another three shops in this financial year to help raise further funds before we move into the new hospice and we are currently looking at different locations across the area we cover.'
Karen Chambers, the charity shop's manager, added: 'I think the opening of this shop is a new chapter for the charity and I think it is a positive step to move into a new area to help raise awareness of what we do.
'We have had great support from nearby traders. No-one feels we are a threat and are actually pleased we are here because we might bring new shoppers to this part of town.'
Yesterday's shop opening comes after the charity's chief executive, Richard Shaw, urged Norfolk's wealthy residents to help fund the building costs of the new multi-million pound hospice. Work on the hospice, which will provide 12 inpatients beds, began last month but the charity still needs �2.7m to finish the work and wants the rich to step in and help, Mr Shaw has said.