Hospice retail head wins award

The head of retail at Martin House Children’s Hospice has won the Leadership Award in the Charity Retail Association’s national awards.

Stephanie Rimmington won the top accolade in a ceremony at the CRA’s national conference in Nottingham.

Judges praised Stephanie for her ‘clear long-term vision to put retail at the heart of fundraising at Martin House’ and her ‘huge emphasis on staff development’.

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They were impressed by her commitment to expanding the charity’s retail chain, despite the pandemic, creating a new retail leadership team to support future expansion and successfully opening a new shop despite the pandemic.

Stephanie said: “I’m overwhelmed to have won this award – it was a huge honour just to have been shortlisted, so I’m absolutely thrilled.

“I feel it’s very much a team award, because I couldn’t do my job without the support from everyone who works in retail at Martin House.”

Martin House has a chain of 12 shops across the region, including Knaresborough, plus a furniture showroom, raising around £1 million of the nearly £9 million it costs to run the hospice each year.

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Beckie Wynne, director of income generation, said: “In what has been the toughest 18 months for charity retail, Stephanie has worked exceptionally hard to make sure her team have hit their fundraising targets.

“When other charities were closing shops due to the pandemic, she pushed ahead with plans to open a new shop in Ripon, and has been tireless in supporting her staff and volunteers through lockdowns, furlough and a huge amount of Covid regulations.

“On top of this, she is incredibly supportive and caring about her staff and their wellbeing. We already knew how amazing Stephanie is, but we’re so pleased this has been recognised at such a prestigious level.”

Martin House cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across West, North and East Yorkshire, providing planned respite, symptom control, end of life care and care after death, along with bereavement support.

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Robin Osterley, chief executive of the Charity Retail Association, said: “I’m awestruck by the creativity and positivity shown by charity retailers over the past year.”

“The award winners and all those nominated showcase the incredible level of dynamism and innovation within charity retail that has helped the sector weather the storm of the pandemic.

“It is a remarkable achievement that charity shops sales are currently trending above pre-pandemic levels.”

Martin House’s shops are located throughout West and North Yorkshire. To find your nearest shop, or how to support the hospice, visit www.martinhouse.org.uk.

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