Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice's Dinnington store among four forced to close permanently

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has closed its four shops across South Yorkshire - but has stressed that its services to children and families will be unaffected.

By Kirsty Hamilton
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 7:30 am

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice’s shops in Chapeltown, in Sheffield, Hellaby and Rotherham ended trading yesterday.

The Dinnington shop which was temporarily closed will not reopen.

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Bluebell Wood will be closing all four of their charity shops for good, including the store in Dinnington.

Bluebell Wood said a combination of factors including high street retail pressures and the impact of the pandemic has meant the stores have stopped making profit and are no longer worth running.

However, bosses reassure that the closure of the stores will have no effect on the services that the children’s hospice continues to offer to children and families and it will continue to raise funds through other initiatives.

Chair of trustees David Wilkin said: “It is with deep sadness that we have taken the decision to permanently close our charity shops.

“This has been a reluctant and difficult choice by the trustees, acting in the best interests of the charity for the long term security of the organisation.

“Like many other charities, our shops have been hit hard by the Covid-19 restrictions and a nationwide downturn in high-street sales.

“Despite implementing a restructuring and recovery plan, continuing to operate our shops at a loss is simply not viable for the charity. We must safeguard child and family care.”

It costs the hospice around £5million to run in a typical year and the majority of income is generated from fundraising, donations, legacies and events. Bluebell Wood receives less than a fifth of its funding from the NHS.

Bluebell Wood temporarily closed its four stores in March 2020, but when the shops reopened in line with the easing of coronavirus restrictions the charity found it difficult to staff stores due to lack of volunteers.

David added: “Bluebell Wood is held in very high regard across the communities of South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and North Lincolnshire and we'd like to thank everyone who has supported our shops over the years including employees, families, children, stakeholders and volunteers.

“Bluebell Wood will continue its major fundraising streams through our popular events, the charity’s lottery, and personal and corporate donations.”