It was wonderful to welcome local shoppers of all ages to our new shop on Chippenham High Street this week! The shop was opened to much applause after our Chief Executive Martin Edwards performed the official ribbon cutting, alongside our new shop Manager Donna Harrop and Assistant Manager Jo Bird.
Speaking before the grand opening, Martin said, "It's my great pleasure to open our first Julia's House shop in Chippenham. This is a really important day for the most seriously ill children that we care for in this town and the surrounding areas. We've been providing care in the Chippenham community for a few years now, but we need to keep raising awareness and funds to ensure we can always be there for the local families that depend on us. So I'd encourage everyone to come and visit our shop and support Julia's House children's hospice."
New shop manager Donna, who lives in Chippenham, said, “We’re really excited to be open and it’s been lovely to see the response from our customers so far. For me, it’s wonderful to know that I’m working somewhere that’s making a difference for local children and families – it’s the reason why I applied for the role.”
Sales from the Julia’s House high street shops support our care for some of the most seriously ill children and their families. There are currently two other Julia’s House shops in Wiltshire, in Devizes and Salisbury, and we have plans to open more stores in Wiltshire this year.
Thousands of items have been sorted in preparation for this week’s grand opening – including designer goods, top quality men’s and women’s clothes, bric-a-brac and a large range of children’s toys, games and clothing. Set across one floor on the town’s high street, near to the entrance to Emery Gate shopping centre, the shop has a unique style that the Julia’s House team hope local customers will enjoy.
The unique and distinct style of the new Chippenham shop has been a labour of love for Shop and Warehouse Manager Dave Hutchings and young Kickstarter Cam Cole. Together, they’ve creatively transformed the empty space with a mix of reclaimed, recycled and donated materials.
“I’ve loved working on the shop refit – I’ve never done anything like it before,” says 20-year-old Cam, who joined Julia’s House team earlier this year through the Government’s Kickstart scheme. “Dave has taught me how to use tools properly and I’ve learnt so many new skills, such as how to wallpaper, lay carpet, paint walls and fit wood together. The shop was a complete shell to start with, so it’s amazing to see what we’ve been able to do in just a few months.
“I was out of work for more than two years before I joined Julia’s House – I’ve found it difficult because I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression,” say Cam. “But the Kickstart scheme has given me the opportunity to get back out there. I’ve loved being part of the Julia’s House team and it makes the job even better when you know what you’re doing is helping seriously ill children.”
We’d love you to come and visit our new Chippenham shop, or volunteer if you’re able. We’ll be open seven days a week, from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm, and on Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Find out more about our shops here.