Milton Keynes Mayor visits Willen Hospice store to see sustainable retail makeover

Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Amanda Marlow, was also there to see first-hand how Willen Hospice had transformed the former bingo hall into a retail space providing a new way for the charity to raise funds.

By Olga Norford
Friday, 29th July 2022, 11:46 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 12:31 pm

Mark Rawlins, Associate Director of Commercial at Willen Hosp ice, said “This was no ordinary makeover. Sustainability was at the heart of the whole project, and with a limited budget, we used every opportunity to re-use and recycle, and accepted donations of materials, skills and labour.

"We are grateful to have acquired retail fixtures and fittings, carrier bags, barriers and donated TVs as display screens in store.”

Original fittings were kept where possible. The counter housing the till area was decorated with donated paint and the charity had help from numerous local business volunteers who painted the interior.

The new Willen Hospice store at The Point was officially opened by Mayor Councillor Amanda Marlow

The Hospice was able to raise funds from the sale of recycled metal and wood when the team dismantled over 400 tables and chairs, courtesy of the generous landlords.

Mark added: “A huge tribute to staff, volunteers, supporters, media and social media bloggers who help to champion the Hospice, our retail offering and fundraising events.

"Without our supporters who donate their items and visit our shops, we would simply not have the resources to continue offering free care to patients and their families. It’s these incredible people who make a difference; to keep our shops growing and expanding, and to help us to re-use and recycle fashion and household items”

The Mayor was accompanied by nurses from Willen Hospice and the winner of a social media competition, asking people to express ‘What Willen means to me’ and to find a champion among the Hospice’s many supporters.

Rachel Hutchinson was randomly selected as the winner of £100 voucher and a VIP shopping day. Her moving post explained the special care that she and her family had experienced at Willen Hospice at a very difficult time of their lives.

The prizes for the winner and four runners-up were kindly donated by Jardine MINI.

The new store at 602 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, is open Monday to Saturday from 10am-4pm.