Update – the shop is now open!
Fishguard saw the grand opening of the Shalom House charity shop on Saturday 23rd January.
A tireless team had been working to create a light airy space with a fine assortment of items for sale and people turned up in droves.
Jeremy Martineau, who cut the ribbon and declared the new shop open, expressed his pleasure that another shop was being opened in Fishguard and by such a worthy cause. He spoke about the meaning of Shalom (It means peace) and praised the work it does with people coming to the end of their lives.
“We all hope we won’t need the services of a hospice, he told shoppers, eager for a bargain, but if I ever do, I know Shalom House would be a place of kindness and peace.”
Allyson Burrows talked about the work that Shalom does. “We want the charity shop to be a presence in Fishguard. We want it to be a place where people can get information about what we do but we also want it to generate income, so we can extend our services to everyone who needs them.”
Fran Kurtz took a few minutes out from helping customers to speak with Fish to explain her role. “I am marketing assistant’ she told me, “We have been busy with all the other helpers to get the shop ready for today and we are delighted by the turnout. We are really hoping the shop will bring in much needed income.”
Fish managed a few minutes with volunteer Susie James, who began working with Shalom five years ago.
“My partner had throat cancer, she tells me, and when he went, I was at a loss to know what to do with myself. A friend suggested Shalom, and my son encouraged me to get involved. I am so glad I did. People think hospices must be sad places but Shalom house joyful. There is so much love and laughter there and it is in a very beautiful location. It means so much to me to be able to help someone else and I have made such lovely friends. The food is delicious too, thanks to Julie Archer”
David Surridge taps Fish on the arm, “Just wanted to tell you, he says brightly, that my wife and I have come all the way from Canterbury to Pembrokeshire on holiday. My wife Cathy is very involved in the The Canterbury Pilgrims Hospice and when we saw this was happening today we came over from Solva to offer support and to see what bargains might be had. We are very enthusiastic about Shalom House and we are very impressed with their lovely new shop.”
Check out Shalom House Charity shop in Fishguard.
Donations of clothing and other good quality items are very gratefully received.
“We owe a great deal to people’s kindness” – Shalom House.
Fish went along to at Shalom House in St David’s to find out more from the very welcoming Allyson Burrows who is the Nurse Manager.
We sit in a lovely bright warm room with the tail end of Christmas sparklies at the end of the table, about to be packed away.
So tell me, exactly what Shalom is?
“We are a charity based hospice.” Allyson tells me, “ Shalom means Peace and Welcome and that’s what we aim to do here… provide a peaceful and welcoming place that provides care and support for people with a life limiting illness, their family and their friends. We aren’t religious and we are open to people of all faiths, or no faith.”
What support does Shalom provide?
“We provide Day care for up to 30 people a week. We also have 5 beds for respite. Our aim is to give good quality of life support, but we try to keep things ‘non medical’, though we always have trained medical staff here. We want this to be a bright friendly place for people …. a pleasurable experience.”
How do people get referred to you?
“People come to us through health care professionals, G.P’s or they can refer themselves. We do sometimes have a small waiting list for respite weeks, but there is no charge for the services we provide.”
How are you funded?
“Like most charities, we are funded by voluntary contributions and the Health authority covers much of our building costs. We rely upon a fabulous team of volunteers who fulfill a range of roles, including driving for us and we are planning to involve more young people, offering work experience when the charity shop is open.”
Tell me more about the shop.
“It’s a very exciting new venture,” Allyson tells me enthusiastically,” Pembrokeshire is a very special place and Fishguard people have always been very supportive, so we are delighted to be taking on the shop. It’s on West Street in Fishguard, just before Theatre Gwaun and opposite the Post Office. The shop will be staffed by volunteers and initially we hope to be open for the winter initially between 10 and 4 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.”
Will you be needing donations?
“Yes please. We are looking for good quality clothing, Bric a brac, books etc…the usual things. We can also take small items of furniture and we have volunteer drivers who can collect items if necessary. We plan to have a children’s section, too. It’s also important that the shop is a place where people can come for information. We would like it to be a pleasant, light, welcoming place that will raise funds which will all be spent on palliative care. We also want to raise awareness.”
Allyson continues, “Shalom, is very special, she tells me, and we want everyone to know. This shop is our first, but I think of it as our Flagship. Our intention is that the wonderful support we already have will continue to grow and that Shalom will always provide the peace and welcome that is so important to us. We owe a great deal to people’s kindness.”
If you would like to donate items for the new shop please call: 01437 721344 and ask to speak with Allana or Allyson. Items can be collected.
Shop is opening on Saturday 23rd January at 10am until 4pm. Please come along to West Street Fishguard. There is a car park opposite the shop with disabled parking and single yellow lines outside the shop itself.