Isabel Hospice 'excited' to reopen charity shops on April 12

Isabel Hospice will reopen in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield on April 12

Isabel Hospice will reopen in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield on April 12 - Credit: Isabel Hospice

Fifteen Isabel Hospice charity shops - including three in Welwyn Garden City and three in Hatfield - will reopen their doors for the first time in three months on Monday, April 12, having lost an estimated £1.3 million in vital income.

In preparation for welcoming back customers, the hospice's retail team have been putting special measures in place to ensure shops are COVID-safe and people can maintain social distancing.

Diane Rafferty, manager of the hospice's shop in Haldens, Welwyn Garden City, said: "Our staff and shop volunteers are so glad to be reopening on April 12 - we can't wait to see you all again.

"We are incredibly proud to serve at the heart of our communities and are enormously grateful to everyone who has supported us before and during this challenging period."

"COVID has shown that the hospice is needed more than ever, so we can't wait to welcome customers old and new back to the shop, especially as we look to develop our free services for the people of eastern Hertfordshire.

"Thank you for your support during these difficult times - we can't wait to see you drop by soon."

While its charity shops have been shut, Isabel Hospice has missed out on the equivalent of funding 1,687 Hospice at Home visits by their specialist team.

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Shoppers who are eligible are being urged to sign up to GiftAid, which helps boost the value of donations - allowing the hospice to claim 25p in every pound of donations.

Diane said: "We really hope shoppers who aren't already GiftAiders will register for this very easy way to help the hospice earn extra income that will make such a difference to our charity."

As well as the Haldens shop, there is also a shop in Fretherne Road and one in Stonehills, and Hatfield has two shops in the town centre and one in the Galleria.

Area retail manager Jane Morrison said: "We are really excited to be reopening our doors again when the lockdown restrictions are lifted on April 12.

"Our shops may have been classed as non-essential, but to our charity they really couldn’t be more crucial in helping us to generate the funds we need to run the hospice."