Warm welcome for new Swindon children's hospice charity shop

By Barrie Hudson - 7 May 2024


Business was booming at the new Julia’s House shop in Swindon as soon as it opened its doors.

The Regent Street store had a non-stop stream of customers, all keen to bag a bargain and support their local children’s hospice charity.
Lorraine Scott and Kayleigh Winbow, from East Swindon, were two of the first people to enter the shop.  
Lorraine said: “Everything is so reasonably priced. We’ve bought so many things, we’re actually going to pick them up round the back in the car park!

"It’s nice to know that you’re supporting the Julia’s House charity and local families, and that things are recycled and re-used. We’ll definitely be back, and we’ll bring some donations in too.”
Julia's House children's hospice receives only eight per cent Government funding, so shop income and donations are vital for the charity to provide its critical and compassionate care to seriously ill children and their families.
Julia’s House has 15 shops in total across Wiltshire and Dorset ,and the new Swindon store will be open seven days a week.
Each of the charity’s shops has been sustainably and stylishly transformed by central Julia's House Shop and Warehouse Manager Dave Hutchings and his dedicated team of volunteers.
“Shopping should be an experience, so we start at the beginning of the shop, and we imagine the customer journey and what might make them say, ‘wow,’ and feel warm inside,” said Dave. 
“When we first arrived here, this was the biggest, longest white box I’d ever seen. It terrified me for about an hour because I couldn’t get my head around how we were going to make it feel so colourful and welcoming, and not be so echoey. But then the magic happened!”
No longer an empty shell, now the Swindon shop features bold William Morris-inspired wallpaper, a comfortable seating area and vintage displays alongside a wide range of clothing, children’s toys, books, bric-a-brac and pre-loved treasures.
“I think it looks phenomenal,” said early customer Lorraine. “It’s a really exciting place to be. It doesn’t look like a charity shop. 
"We thought it was a boutique. It’s nice that there’s space for Kayleigh to go round in her wheelchair as well."
New Swindon shop manager Nina Colliass, said: “This is a new challenge for me and I’m really excited to be part of bringing Julia’s House to Swindon’s High Street.  
“So far, it’s been amazing and absolutely buzzing. The customers have been coming in thick and fast and we’ve had so much positive feedback – it’s just been a joy to experience.”
“We’ve been so lucky to have lots of donations and support from volunteers already, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming more people through our shop doors in the coming days.”
Julia’s House Swindon Shop is open seven days a week - Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, and Sunday,10am to 4pm. 
Donations and volunteers are very welcome, and people can inquire in store or email [email protected]

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