Help Us Give Support known as H.U.G.S., has opened a brand new charity shop in Chelsea Road shopping parade in Bath, and will be donating all its annual profits to the RUH Forever Friends Appeal. Forever Friends Appeal mascot, Big Ted, was therefore thrilled to be invited to officially open the shop and cut the ribbon on Monday 20th May.
The H.U.G.S. team have a wealth of experience in running charity shops and are therefore calling on the support of members of the local community to come along and visit the shop to see all the wonderful items that are on offer. The shop has an extremely attractive feel both inside and out, with the eye-catching shop signage having been kindly provided by Freestyle Designs, based on the Windsor Bridge in Bath.
Maryann Benson, Shop Manager, comments: “We want to make a contribution to our community, and we know that a shop can become a valuable local asset and a focal point for support. When we considered possible beneficiaries for our new charity, the RUH immediately came to mind. Mandy and her family had personal experience of the baby unit in the PAW when her grandson was born, and were impressed by the dedication of the staff and the quality of the care given to Jack. Several members of our team have been treated for cancer in the RUH, and during the past year in particular, we have all been grateful for everything that has been done to treat and support them. We felt that we would like to give something back.”
The current aim of the Royal United Hospital charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, is the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – raising funds towards a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the hospital. Following the fantastic support from the public and the recent wonderful news of the £4million donation to the Campaign from The James Dyson Foundation, the Appeal have now met their minimum fundraising target and are therefore extending their Campaign by a further £2-3million. This will enhance even further the therapeutic environment that RUH doctors are aiming to create, and maximise its impact for patients with additional state-of-the-art medical equipment, dedicated research facilities, as well as art and pastoral gardens.
Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising for The Forever Friends Appeal said; “The James Dyson Foundation’s donation is providing a massive boost in helping us reach our minimum target and allowing us, with the public’s support, to expand the ambition of the campaign. They particularly want to support and help maximise the efforts and impact of the fundraising by the public so that the clinicians involved in the planning of the new Cancer Centre can be even more imaginative, inspired and innovative in their vision for the design of the building and how it works. It is the public that will now help this pioneering building be truly exceptional and vastly improve cancer care in this region – in the same way as the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care has already done for premature babies and their families. The H.U.G.S. Chelsea Road charity shop is a wonderful way of supporting the Campaign and we are just so thrilled to be chosen as the beneficiary charity of H.U.G.S. Chelsea Road is such a great location in the hub of the Newbridge and Weston community, and just so close to the RUH! We would like to thank H.U.G.S. for their support and wish them the very best of luck in their charity shop endeavours.”
The extension of the Campaign will add to the overall budget for the new Centre – rather than reducing the NHS £15m financial commitment, giving a c66/33% NHS / Charitable funds split in the overall funding amount.
The H.U.G.S. team is gratefully accepting all donations; please drop any donations to the shop at 16 Chelsea Road between the shop opening hours of 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and don’t forget to ask about Gift Aid. If you are interested in volunteering at the shop, please call shop managers Mandy Fletcher or Maryann Benson on 07969 916703.