Edwina Currie, soon to be a resident of Whaley Bridge, officially opened Blythe House Hospice’s new ‘department store’ on Market Street, next to the Mechanics’ Institute.
The super charity shop is the first charity store of its kind in the High Peak. It features departments, such as women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s clothing, toys and accessories, bridal and occasion wear, furniture, electrical goods, home and office, and houseware.
Former MP and government minister Edwina bought items in the store for the conservatory in her new Whaley Bridge home. She spoke of how impressed she was with the caring nature of the High Peak community.
Edwina has been involved with the hospice movement since her childhood days in Liverpool. Her mum was a volunteer at the Marie Curie hospice, and regularly took Edwina to fund-raising events. Mum remained a volunteer until she was 83.
Edwina praised the day care set-up at Blythe House in Chapel en le Frith as ‘excellent’, allowing patients to go home after a day’s treatment. As health minister in the 80s, Edwina was responsible for sending a directive to the NHS, urging trusts to establish links with hospices – and pay for hospital patients who were sent there.
Among the many people Edwina chatted to, while toasting the shop’s future in orange ‘bubbly’, was the Rev Betty Packham, a trustee and founder of the hospice.
Blythe House’s five charity shops in the High Peak are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 4pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am to 12.30pm.