Winning gave 'real recognition'

In 2016 the Independent Retailer Award was a very hard fought category with many entries ranging from well-known, established retailers through to retailers who had only recently taken the big step to set up that all important shop.

But in the end, after a difficult round of judging, the award went to Willen Hospice. We caught up with Maya Joseph-Hussain, Director of Business Development, to find out what the win meant to the charity that provides specialist end-of-life care for adults, and to the teams of volunteers who help run their retail outlets.

“We were incredibly proud to win the MKBAA Independent Retailer Award in 2016 and it was a real recognition of the hard work, tenacity and creativity shown by the retail and marketing teams at the Hospice.”

The annual running cost of the Hospice is around £4.6 million and 78% of that cost has to be found themselves from fund-raising activities, this means they have to raise around £7 every minute from the local community. The retail arm of the hospice has shops in seven towns throughout the local area, run by volunteers and taking in donations every day.  They sell a mix of pre-loved items including furniture, clothes, accessories, shoes, DVDs, Books, CDs and much, much more. But without the army of volunteers the shops simply could not run.

“The win was a huge achievement for all our incredible volunteers – their dedication to helping Willen Hospice by giving a few hours of their time at a shop and the fantastic customer service they show never ceases to amaze – without them we simply couldn’t do what we do. Our teams endeavour to create a really special shopping environment for our customers – great products and excellent service is key to what we do, and we’re privileged to enjoy such incredible support from our all customers.”

Maya also went on to say, “We proudly display the fact we won the award in all our shop windows and wish the best of luck to all 2017 participants.”