A HOSPICE charity has unveiled a new shop for preloved goods in Oxfordshire just in time for Christmas.

Staff at Sobell House’s new store on King’s Walk in Wantage cut the ribbon and welcomed customers for the first time over the weekend.

Despite nationwide financial pressure on the charity sector amid the Covid-19 crisis, the end-of-life care organisation has defied expectations and still raised as much as last year.

The racks at the store are all stocked with an array of ‘quality preloved and new goods’ including a full range of Sobell House Christmas cards and 2021 diaries, and all profits go to supporting the care provided at the Headington hospice.

Speaking about the new fundraising outlet in Wantage, head of retail at the charity James Dyson commented: “We are delighted to have opened a new retail shop."

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He went on: “We are all living in uncertain times with Covid-19, but the need for hospice care in Oxfordshire does not stop and neither can we.

“By opening shops in new areas, we are giving more people the opportunity to donate or buy items to support Sobell House.”

The hospice, which is jointly funded by the NHS and Sobell House Hospice Charity, has been providing specialist end-of-life and palliative care to local people with life-limiting illnesses as well as supporting their families since 1976.

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The organisation currently has ten shops across Oxfordshire with the income from them funding its services.

Every year the charity aims to raise around £2 million to continue operating.

This is also the second fundraising outlet to be opened by the charity in a month.

Oxford pet shop owner Sean Woodward, who was inspired by the organisation’s work, handed the lease for his Marston shop to the charity.

The store is now headed by Mr Woodward, former manager of Pads and Paws in Marston, who saw the work Sobell House Hospice in Headington does first-hand.

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And, although the building has been repurposed to become a charity shop, he is still selling some pet shop favourites such as dog food.

Mr Woodward explained that he had a ‘loyal customer base’, so Sobell House had agreed to continue stocking the unusual extras.

Over the next five to ten years, the charity is aiming to build the necessary infrastructure to deliver more direct care in the hospice, the community and the main county hospitals.

It also hopes to provide more education and training for health and social care professionals who deliver a lot of end-of-life care.

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Another future goal is to develop a strong network of carers and volunteers who are capable of alleviating the stress of those with a terminal illness and their families.

Anyone who has preloved goods to donate or would like to volunteer at the Wantage store can contact manager Valeria Perna either by email at valeria.perna@sobellhospice.org or by telephone 01235 768969.

Locations of all other Sobell House shops can be found on www.sobellhouse.org