BETHESDA fundraiser DR Macdonald believes the Stornoway shop’s imminent move will help them provide a better service to customers – and raise more much-needed revenue for the charity’s coffers.
The charity shop is upping sticks and moving out of Cromwell Street to new premises on Bayhead Street – in the former Point One building - where they will have substantially increased floor and storage space as well as more parking spots for customers.
And Macdonald is also keen to see the charity put down roots and secure an asset instead of wasting money on rent which is something they have done for almost 20-years in their previous locations.
He explained: “The shop is to raise funds for the Hospice and we have to raise more than £200,000 every year just to keep it open and as such is a major part of the fundraising.
“The beauty of it now is where we used to be on Cromwell Street wasn’t able to cope with the large furniture. It was fine for small items but in April we had to rent other premises to store and display the furniture properly as the shop didn’t have a proper area.
“It meant the furniture was piled on top of and a lot of people couldn’t see it while it even came to a stage where we were getting so much in we had to leave it outside where it would end up damaged.
“So from April we were running two premises which wasn’t cost-effective and as the shops are operated by volunteers it meant we had to have two staff rotas on all the time. Since then we started looking for premises where everything could be housed under the one roof so we came up with this property here.
“The furniture can be stored at the back of the shop and the bric-a-brac everywhere else.
“We are aiming to open on Monday, October 3, but time is against us as we have to be out of our current premises by Friday, October 30 but we are on target for opening.
“This building also has potential for further development with the upstairs where there are eight offices. We are just renting the building initially but we would like to try and buy it as we rented for 19-years and now we have nothing to show for it. But if we can buy this then we’ll have an asset to show and it has the potential to further increase revenue.
““It is more accessible and has more parking for customers out here on Bayhead.”
Macdonald has expressed his gratitude for the kind donations of the island public over the years which has laid the foundation stones for all the good work Bethesda have done and he is confident the bigger premises can only help them build an even brighter future.
He added: “We depend on the support of the community for their furniture donations which we sell. It’s been tremendous over the past 19-years but we hope now we can get out to people more when they have things to donate and with our increased capacity store more things.
“It is a very exciting time for us. Over the past few years we had the extension to the nursing home which cost us £2m which we had to raise ourselves but we were conscious the shop also needed a revamp and now we’ve completed the work at the home, this was the next stage.
“We are all looking forward with great anticipation to the new shop and hope it goes well and people will continue to support us.”