A NEW Bolton Hospice charity shop has opened to replace one that has been trading in Tonge Moor for 21 years.

The new shop opened in Tonge Moor Road yesterday to take over from the charity’s original shop on the street, just a few doors away.

One volunteer is working at the new store after working in the previous shop for all of its 21 years.

Jean Roberts, 80, said: “My dad was in the hospice when it first opened and they were so good to him so it meant a lot to volunteer here. I have made so many friends, working here you feel the customers are your friends too. You see them every week, we’re part of people’s lives.”

The modern update was given the green light from the Mayor of Bolton, who attended the launch. She said that, along with being at the heart of the community, charity shops are an important service for people who have limited money.

Councillor Hilary Fairclough said: “Good quality charity shops have an important role to play. These shops are bringing affordable goods to people on limited incomes.

Charity shops are a key source of income for the hospice, according to fundraising director Caroline Savage. She said: “We spend on average £5 million a year on delivering services. We only get about 20 per cent of than from the NHS. That’s £4 million we need to fundraise. The charity shops are the biggest money earner for the hospice.”

The charity relies on the support of volunteers who staff the branches and serve customers. With the expansion, Bolton Hospice has put out a call for more to come forward and help. Application forms can be found and filled out in any of the ten shops.