St Barnabas Hospice in Lincolnshire celebrates creative award win
St Barnabas Hospice is celebrating after winning the 'Most Creative Use of Lockdown' award.
The award for St Barnabas, which has a hospice and shop in Grantham, was given out during the 2021 Charity Retail Association Conference at Colwick Hall, Nottingham on Thursday, September 9.
More than 60 tonnes of donations were collected by the hospice throughout the national lockdown through the team's 'Drive-Thru Donation' events.
The team had converted the car park at St Barnabas Hospice's central warehouse into the drive-thru as it had a separate entrance and exit.
This was Lincolnshire's first ever 'Donation Drive-Thru' and the donations meant that the hospice's shops could reopen with plenty of stock available.
Head of Retail at the Hospice, Caroline Peach, said: "We are delighted that our work during the pandemic has been recognised; We want to thank all of our staff, volunteers and customers for their help and support over the last 18 months."
She continued: "We felt that the donation drive-thru was a great success already, but to be recognised nationally is just amazing.
"As soon as our charity shops were forced to close in the pandemic, the retail team realised we needed a plan of action for stocking our 26 charity shops for reopening; we also knew we would experience a surge of donations from people who spent time in lockdown sorting their homes out."
A booking system was set up in order to manage bookings and the team were able to control how many people turned up during each half hour window.
This enabled them to ensure social distancing and a Covid secure way of processing the dropped off donations.
Caroline added: "From the first four weeks of bookings, 505 of the 640 donors claimed Gift Aid on the items they donated.
"This is an incredible 79% of those booked in. Normally, we would only see around 25% of people Gift Aid their donation.
"We’re so pleased to be able to continue raising funds for those who need our services."
During the first month almost 15,000 bags and boxes of donated items were collected, equating to nearly 60 tonnes.
The team welcomed 45 new volunteers to sort out the donated items and a further 61 volunteers to help in the charity shops once they re-opened.