The Sue Ryder palliative-care hospice at Joyce Grove, Nettlebed in Oxfordshire is to close next month (April 2020).
This a tragedy for its inhabitants and all who are employed there. It is also a bitter blow to the many of us who have brought our much-loved but redundant belongings to the donation station. There they were sold in the monthly sales, raising money for the charity.
I am lucky that the closure did not happen before I had finished emptying Wrango, my family home. It has been a great relief to take car loads of stuff to Sue Ryder’s, and to hand the items to knowledgeable and sympathetic volunteers at the donation station. They were ever busy, hurrying back and forth with trollies, distributing items to their relevant departments—books, paintings, furniture etc. Often they expressed interest in the things I gave them and we got talking.
In the last few weeks they accepted my father’s amateur artwork, including a portrait (from a photo) of the actress Felicity Kendal.
Importantly, Sue Ryder also had someone on hand to do portable appliance testing, enabling it to accept electrical items, which is a rare thing among charity shops. The donation centre saved me having to take piles of stuff to the tip. That would have been distressing; it is what may have to happen in future, as there is no alternative outlet.
I give a big thank-you to those magnificent and hard-working volunteers for their kindness and helpfulness to me—and I hope another charity collection-centre may soon emerge. There is certainly a market for it.