Demelza Hospice pushing the boundaries of charity retail

Vintage treasures and retro gems were beautifully presented at Demelza Hospice Care for Children’s Rochester shop last Thursday, during a special evening event. The shop (pictured) was kitted out with quirky, memory jogging fun fashions where the locals were invited to come and browse for Christmas gifts. Shop Manager Gemma; and Area Manager Robin; originally sourced some stock destined for rag and recycling, but several other Demelza Hospice shops sent stock including Hythe, Tenterden and Maidstone Royal Star Arcade. The team restored and upcycled collectable, vintage and retro items, as their philosophy encompasses being ‘green’ and recycling everything they are able.

Director of Retail at Demelza Hospice, Ashley Henson stated, “Like many of our charity retail colleagues we are really encouraging buying second-hand and reducing the impact fashion is having on the environment. There really feels like there is new energy to act and do something to make a difference, be it a big or small action.” This innovative event was an attempt at pushing the boundaries of the sector, thinking outside the box, and trying something new: and it paid off. The store took £400 in the first hour, and success continued throughout the evening. The event proved how fashion can be sustainable, recycled and reused, often over many years with great fashions having new life. The store influenced neighbouring shops and businesses to stay open later, boosting the ‘after work’ local economy for the evening.

Henson added “There really is an energy amongst younger, less traditional, charity shoppers to be seen in our shops, to dress with style and perhaps bag an outfit that you just cannot get in mainstream retail.”

The incredible shop window perfectly reflects the vintage theme, and it is rumoured that Ferrero are interested in the retro Nutella top! Watch this space for developments. Demelza Hospice look after and support terminally ill children and their families. For more information, please visit