With the tills ringing at one recently launched retail outlet to further support for its vital service, one of the city’s best-loved charities has just cut the ribbon on another!

Earlier this month, St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, which looks after thousands of terminally ill patients and supports their families when time is running short, opened its new pop-up charity shop selling good quality second-hand furniture in the former Toys ‘R’ Us building at Western Approach.

It’s been a flying start for the new venture, with enough items sold within the first hour of trading alone to help three more families at home – not just through expert hands-on medical care for the patient, but emotional and practical support for them and their loved ones, too. Through the duration of its lease on the site, St Luke’s aims raise enough to provide such help for 200 families.

As well as selling sofas, wardrobes and other furniture, the space is home to Herd HQ for Elmer’s Big Parade*, the sculpture trail which goes live across Plymouth this summer and is expected to attract 250,000 visitors exploring the city to see the enchanting elephants each painted by a talented local artist.

This week – Monday 11 March – saw some of the artists start work on their masterpieces inside the building, where over coming weeks local people are encouraged to pop in for a preview of the fun to come!

Monday also saw St Luke’s – which relies on the support of the local community to keep providing its compassionate care – open a new store on The Broadway, Plymstock, where members of its Urgent Care Service** cut the ribbon.

Modern and bright, the new shop opposite the Costa coffee outlet on the Broadway replaces the store formerly at Dean Hill. But while the site is new, the remit remains the same: to sell quality pre-loved clothes, books, toys and bric-a-brac at bargain prices, raising funds to support St Luke’s specialist care.

Mike Picken, Head of Retail at St Luke’s, said: “Our annual retail income is a critical contribution to keep St Luke’s running. That’s why it’s so important that we seize opportunities to not only continue to meet the needs of our existing much-valued customers but attract new ones as well.

“It’s fantastic to see our centrally located pop-up shop get off to such a great start, and we need to maintain maximum visibility further afield too, across all the other areas where we provide our care. Our new store on the busy Plymstock Broadway is located among well-known high-street brands with more big names rumoured to be moving in nearby soon, so we’re ideally placed to attract more customers to support our vital service.”

Gary Durbin, Manager of St Luke’s the new Plymstock charity shop, said: “There has been a real buzz around the launch of our new shop here in the heart of the local community. We’re proud of our attractive store and it’s great to see it busy already with lots of bargain-loving customers keen to support our charity.”

The new shop is open 7 days a week, including Sunday’s 10am to 4pm, welcoming customers and new donations, too.

For more information about Elmer’s Big Parade.