St Luke's Hospice message to the people of Callington with regret over charity shop closure

Tuesday 1st March 2022 8:00 am
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WITH great regret, given the tremendous support the charity has received from the local community over the years, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth has announced that its charity shop in Callington had to close down for good last week.

Robert Maltby from the charity contacted the Cornish Times with the announcement that, with great regret, the shop in the town’s Fore Street was closing for the last time on Thursday (February 24).

He told us that a statement had been prepared on the decision to close the shop as it was felt that, given the level of support from the town for the charity – including a tremendous amount of fundraising by the Callington Tesco store, among others – he believed local people deserved a full explanation.

In particular the community pulled together during the illness through breast cancer suffered by local young woman Chloe Hunn, who came to St Luke’s specialist unit at Turnchapel to be cared for by its team in December 2017. St Luke’s pulled out all the stops over that Christmas to create a home from home for her and her loved ones, and helped them make precious memories together, but sadly, Chloe died a few days later at the age of just 22, in January 2018.

This sad event had resulted in a tremendous amount of fundraising for St Luke’s by the people of Callington, Mr Maltby said.

The statement from St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth on the charity shop closure reads as follows: “Following our decision to permanently close St Luke’s charity shop at Fore Street in Callington because it is no longer profitable for us, our last day of trading there will be Thursday, 24 February.

“While it would be easy to simply announce this news via a sign in the shop window, out of respect for the community of Callington - and huge gratitude for all that the people of the town do to fundraise in aid of our specialist care - we want to explain more about why this is happening.

“As an independent charity, we rely on our charity shops to generate income to support our vital service for local families. Unfortunately, the combination of our Callington shop premises no longer being fit for purpose, plus the general decline of the high street, with many units now standing empty, has led to lack of footfall within the store and hence a big downturn in sales.

“Closing the shop is the right thing to do to protect St Luke’s finances so that we can keep giving our compassionate care to terminally ill people at no cost to them. However, we will continue to look for suitable retail premises in the East Cornwall area in the hope of opening there in the future.

“In the meantime, our nearest charity shops to the town are in Launceston, Saltash and Tavistock, where our supporters can donate good-quality items they no longer need as well as browse and buy.

“I want to reassure everyone living in Callington and surrounding areas that St Luke’s specialist care and support will continue to be there for them and their families should they need it at any time.

“Our heartfelt thanks to the excellent staff and volunteers at the Callington store whose dedication has been second to none. We are also incredibly grateful to the local community as a whole, including staff and customers of Tesco, for their unswerving support for St Luke’s, much of it in memory of greatly loved people from the area who have received our care in recent years. This tireless fundraising for our charity, including participating in sponsored events such as Midnight Walk and Men’s Day Out, is so appreciated and we do not take it for granted.

“Steve Statham, Chief Executive Officer, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.”

For more about Chloe Hunn’s story see https://www.stlukes-hospice.org.uk/chloes-story/

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