Charity opens Lowestoft shop to support vital care service

A CHARITY that provides vital help for the terminally ill opened a new shop in Lowestoft this week to help support its palliative care services.

St Elizabeth Hospice unveiled its new town centre store on Tuesday after pledging to invest �2.2m over the next three years in specialist care services for Waveney and Great Yarmouth.

The opening of the new shop at 123 Bevan Street East follows the launch of a similar store in Great Yarmouth last month and plans are also under way to open three more in Beccles, Bungay and Harleston.

Sue Goodchild, head of retail at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: 'For us the message is for the public to come and support us because the money goes towards helping local people in the area.'

The Lowestoft shop has so far recruited 11 volunteers, but it is still looking to bolster its workforce by finding nine more members of staff.

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Verena Nock, of Lowestoft, a volunteer shop-worker at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: 'The reason I decided to join the charity is because I have recently moved to the area and I am looking to mix with people.

'I used to do care work and the charity helps the terminally ill and provides respite care for their relatives.'

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One of the first patients to benefit from St Elizabeth Hospice's day services in Waveney had been due to open the shop but was unwell and unable to attend on the day.

Beryl Crawford, 56, of Levington Court, Lowestoft, has a progressive lung disorder and receives specialist palliative care and support from the hospice.

Speaking before the event, the mother of two, and grandmother of seven, said: 'I cannot believe there was not a hospice in Lowestoft until St Elizabeth Hospice opened in January.

'The support I have received has been amazing. I hope local people will support this shop to help raise funds for the charity to continue to provide its services free of charge.'

The Ipswich-based charity now provides day services in Lowestoft, Beccles and Ditchingham, with further day care planned in Great Yarmouth in the autumn.

All services are provided free of charge, but the hospice relies on the local community to raise money or make donations to meet the majority of the running costs. The NHS funds about a quarter of the total.

The shop was formally opened by St Elizabeth Hospice chief executive Jane Petit.

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