The Marie Curie charity shop and community hub in Kingsway is a new initiative where shoppers can drop off donations and browse for bargains as well as talking to trained ambassadors about Marie Curie services in times of need.
Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity and the largest charitable provider of hospice care outside of the NHS, with nine hospices throughout the UK and over 2,000 Registered Nurses and Healthcare Assistants who support around 33,000 people every year.
In Northern Ireland, Marie Curie Nurses provide palliative and end of life care for patients at its Belfast Hospice but mainly through its Rapid Response overnight service for patients in their own homes throughout Northern Ireland.
Money raised by all Marie Curie shops goes towards supporting Marie Curie caring services so they can continue providing expert care to terminally ill people and their families.
The community hub will sit within the long-established shop, as a space for the public to learn more about the services Marie Curie offers in the local area, from nursing services to bereavement counselling, and helper services.
Trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to offer advice and signpost people to the relevant information. The new hub area will also be used for community fundraisers for their planning activities along with other volunteers and helper services.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tina Black (centre) with shop manager Kathleen Lindsay (left) and (right) Marie Curie Rapid Response Nurse Colette McAtamney as she opened the first Marie Curie community hub service in Northern Ireland at its Dunmurry shop in Kingsway
Marie Curie intends to establish more community hubs in its existing Northern Ireland shops, where space permits, as it also marks its 75th anniversary next year.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Tina Black said:
“I am delighted to have been invited to the opening of this fantastic Marie Curie community hub.
This outstanding facility will provide a place to not only drop off donations but a safe place where people can avail of vital support services that Marie Curie provides in times of need. The staff and volunteer community provide a fantastic service to the community and I really wish them every success in the future and thank them for the work that they do.
The impact that this initiative will have on those in need cannot be underestimated and I hope Marie Curie continues to get the recognition and funding that it deserves to support end of life care and bereavement support.”
Marie Curie Retail District Manager, Cathy Clarke, added: “This shop is totally unique because, not only will it function like our other charity shops selling donated goods, but it also doubles as a community hub – which is a space where local people can come to find out more about the services that Marie Curie offers in the Belfast area, like our bereavement support service and our volunteer helper service.
“I would like to congratulate the manager, Kathleen Lindsay and her Assistant Managers, Susan Kirkwood and Alison Kingham, on becoming Marie Curie Ambassadors. I’m confident that they will do a superb job in providing the signposting to Marie Curie services that our loyal donators and shoppers sometimes need.”
Lead Photo caption: Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tina Black (centre) opened the first Marie Curie community hub service in Northern Ireland at its Dunmurry shop which aims to help signpost people to other Marie Curie services. Shop manager Kathleen Lindsay is front left, next is Marie Curie Retail District Manager Cathy Clarke with Marie Curie Nurse Colette McAtamney along with shop volunteers