THE pen is mightier than the sword, but not when it comes to winning awards, by the looks of things,
St Barnabas Hospices, which includes Chestnut Tree House, won two prestigious accolades at the Charity Retail Association Conference, held at the Keele Conference Centre.
The organisation picked up the awards for most profitable shops in the 11 to 20 shops category – collecting more than £15,000 a week from its 15 shops.
The hospices, in Worthing and Poling, also won an award for the most unusual item donated, after an elderly woman handed in a full-size sword, saying she “had no use for it any more”.
Across the Herald and Gazette area, there are St Barnabas House shops in Steyning, Littlehampton, Rustington and Worthing, and there is a Chestnut Tree House store in Arundel, with average weekly takings of £1,015 each.
Colin Wakefield, head of retail for the hospices, said: “It is a tremendous achievement for the retail team to win this award.
“The current economic climate is making life extremely difficult for retailers, so to be named most profitable retail operation in our category is testament to the immense hard work put in by our staff and volunteers.
“Winning this award demonstrates that we are getting the best possible price for items donated to us, while still offering our customers value for money.”
He went on to thank residents for supporting the charity.
“Of course, this award would not be possible without the help of the local community, who continue to donate high-quality goods for sale in the shops,” he added.
“Our supporters can be sure that by bringing their unwanted items to us they are making a real difference to the lives of the adults, children and young people that we care for.”
Other entries in the most unusual item donated category included a bag of water, complete with two goldfish, an urn containing ashes, some preserved parts of an animal, including one labelled as a badger’s penis, and a Second World War German tank operator’s helmet.
The sword was donated to the Chestnut Tree House shop in Billingshurst.
l The shops are always in need of good-quality clothing, bric-a-brac, books, DVDs, games, toys and furniture.
Residents can take unwanted items into the award-winning shops or, for larger items, call 01903 741719 to arrange delivery.