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How a charity has tackled operational challenges to build an exceptional charity retail experience for its community.

Local communities founded St Luke’s Hospice to provide free high-quality palliative and end-of-life care to the people of Harrow and Brent. Their holistic and person-centred approach to care, focusing not only on physical comfort but also on emotional, social, and spiritual well-being is at the forefront of everything they do.

With only 30% of the total £6.3m cost of providing free care to the residents of Harrow and Brent being government funded. Charity Retail is a critical contributor to the continuing provision of services.

In early 2021 it was identified that the infrastructure of the shops business needed significant upgrading in particular an old donation centre as well as health & safety compliance across the network of 18 charity shops.

The charity had to act fast and manage the risks that St Luke’s was exposed to, implementing new policies and procedures that would transform the operational performance of the retail business.

Having joined St Luke’s in 2021, Peter Brook took on the challenge of transforming the retail operations. As well as addressing key areas of legislative compliance, the operating practices and shop environments were transformed. This helped put the shops in a position to provide long-term contribution to the significant and growing costs of running the much-valued hospice services to the community.

Something that had a major impact on the business was the move to a new Donation Centre. This new hub for the retail business is in a central location within Harrow. The incorporation of a superstore at the new site also provides the option of shopping for pre-loved items while offering the convenience of drive-up donating. These aspects of convenience and experience has transformed the charity retail experience for their supporters.

Critical to their retail journey, the hospice had full support from their EPOS supplier, Wil-U. The flexibility and responsiveness that Wil-U provided helped contribute to achieving their full potential.

Peter Brook stated, “To deliver the transformation it was critical to have a specialist charity EPOS supplier that were there to support the shop teams in their transition. Wil-U was there every step of the way to assist us with the improvement in our working practices and provide the solutions to grow our income.”

Gift Aid growth was an area of great potential for St Luke’s, and by using Wil-U solutions, St Luke’s was then able to increase funding for the Hospice by using the fully automated digital Gift Aid solutions. It helped to maximise donor sign-ups and eliminated the time-consuming admin.

18 months on St Luke’s has laid the foundations for the retail element of the business to support the on-going funding of the valued palliative and end-of-life care for patients and their loved ones in the community. Peter Brook added, “We are immensely proud of everything we have achieved so far and promise to keep delivering excellence for the people of Harrow and Brent who we thank for their continued support.”

If you would like to find out more about how Wil-U can help make your donating and fundraising future-proof, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Victoria Cotton
Post by Victoria Cotton
Jun 5, 2024 10:29:25 AM