You may have now heard about the potential closure of the St Luke’s Hospice shop in Middlewich. As I am sure you will understand, it is not possible to give a great deal of detail at this stage due to the need to follow a proper process with our paid staff at the shop. I do though want to ensure you know how difficult this potential closure is for all of us at the hospice and our Trustee board.

You may have heard in the news last week about an £18 million drop in income which hit Oxfam, much of which is due to decreases in revenue from shops. At St Luke’s, we are suffering from the same issues, although on a smaller scale. Our shops do serve more than one purpose, they offer people a chance to talk about their own experiences of loss and bring together groups of volunteers who are valuable to the hospice and gain personally from meeting up, serving the community and supporting St Luke’s.

The primary purpose of our shops is to make money for patient care. It is therefore a requirement of our staff and Trustees to maximise this income and deliver as much revenue as possible to support clinical services. Over the past months we have explored numerous ways in which we could increase the profitability of our shops. If we are to do this, we need to make our assets work as hard as possible.

It is for this reason we are exploring the option of closing Middlewich, in order to free up capital to make it work harder and produce more profit which will sustain our hospice for the long term. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee things will always stay the same. Whatever decisions we make about many aspects of St Luke’s, some people will disagree vehemently with those decisions. But please be assured that everyone involved in this process has the good of our hospice at heart and any decision will be based on this commitment to delivering care today and for the next 25 years.

As soon as we are in a position to give you more details, we will do so.

Andrea Ladeira – Director of Business and Support Services