Weston Hospicecare has reluctantly decided to close its shop in Weston’s Aller Parade.

The charity depends upon community support to fund its services, and runs a network of 17 shops across its patch in North Somerset and Sedgemoor.

Those shops make a substantial contribution to the hospice’s annual running costs of £4.2million a year, but performance is regularly reviewed to ensure they are each proving cost effective for the charity to run.

And following a recent assessment of performance of the Aller Parade premises, managers will be closing the charity shop’s doors.

That means it will cease trading on 17 May, bringing to an end the hospice’s eight-year stay in Aller Parade.

Efforts are now being made to find alternative roles for the shop’s manager and assistant manager, and the 13-strong volunteer team who support it, while a search has begun for replacement premises.

Weston Hospicecare’s retail director Gemma Turner said: “We of course have a responsibility to manage our resources in the best interests of Weston Hospicecare, and that means ensuring that our shops are run in the most efficient way.

“That can sometimes mean changes need to be made to our portfolio, and while it’s always a difficult decision to close a shop, we believe this change is in the best interests of Weston Hospicecare. 

“I will be meeting with staff and volunteers to discuss the way forward for them all, and we will do our utmost to find the right outcome for all concerned. I would, however, like to pay tribute the wonderful team at Aller Parade for their work through the years, which has been valued and appreciated.

“I would also like to thank our customers who have been incredibly loyal over the years; it’s a shame we cannot continue to serve them from Aller Parade, but we do hope to see them at other Weston Hospicecare shops soon.”

The Aller Parade shop – which was damaged by arson in 2016 before reopening in 2017 – specialised in £1 items. Shoppers can find an alternative Weston Hospicecare £1 store in Walliscote Road, after the shop reopened last week following a refurbishment.

Meanwhile, the hospice’s shop in Weston High Street will close its doors today (Thursday, May 2) for two to three weeks to enable essential maintenance works to be carried out. Its reopening date will be confirmed as soon as possible.

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