LETTER: Hospice pioneers would be proud

Pat Read (manager), Warren Alexander (chairman of association), Hilary Trotter (area retail manager).
Pat Read (manager), Warren Alexander (chairman of association), Hilary Trotter (area retail manager).

Staff and volunteers gathered in Wakefield Hospice’s Cross Street shop recently to mark its closure and the end of an era.

It was with fondness and pride that they reflected on 32 years of trading, raising in excess of £1m to support patient and family care.

Tribute was paid to the five determined nurses who had the original vision of building a hospice for the people of Wakefield. After the shop opened in 1984, a loyal customer base soon grew and the outlet has been well regarded by shoppers ever since.

On a visit with the Duchess, the Duke of Norfolk bought a pair of trousers there – a royal endorsement of the quality and standard of the merchandise on offer.

Shop managers and their dedicated volunteers have seen many changes over the years. Retail trends, merchandising styles and increased technology have all been embraced while the core purpose of trading remained the same – the raising of funds for Wakefield Hospice.

The decisions of city centre planners and developers means that more recently, the location of the shop is no longer ideal for clothing retail. Customers old and new should be reassured that Wakefield Hospice will maintain its presence in the city centre, currently in Teall Street and the Ridings.

The quality of the merchandise, great customer service and the determination to keep raising those vital funds will not diminish and we look forward to carrying on a great tradition.

Those five nurses would be hugely proud that their legacy lives on.

Helen Knowles

Wakefield Hospice