Pendleside Hospice hopes to recoup some of its retail losses it has made during the Coronavirus pandemic by opening an online store selling items donated by the people of Burnley and Pendle.
And masterminding the new venture is internet retail expert David Austin who has been appointed Pendleside’s online marketplace team leader.
David, 46, has run a successful family-owned e-commerce business which specialises in items for motor enthusiasts for the last 11 years.
He will also oversee the new donation and distribution centre based in the Hospice grounds adjacent to the main building at Reedley and the Pendleside furniture store in Church Street, Burnley.
David said: “While the hospice has sold individual items on ebay previously we have now opened a dedicated ebay shop and intend to populate it with up to 500 items at a time. And, if things go how I would like, within 12 months we could be selling up to 250 items a week.”
The plan is to use the Royal Mail for deliveries around the UK with the intention that goods reach buyers within 24 hours of them making their purchase.
David said: “When we get an order we will print off a shipping label, attach it to the package and drop off that day’s orders at the post office for delivery across the UK.”
The new donation and distribution centre will now be the main drop off centre for goods donated with plenty of parking space directly outside the main door. While it is the recommended collection centre people can still leave their goods at any of the Pendleside shops.
Any donated furniture will be sold either at the store in Church Street or on the more local Facebook market place and other social media platforms so that buyers can easily pick up their items.
David will be aided by Liz Bell, presently coordinator of the Pendleside shop in Keirby Walk, Burnley. Liz has been appointed part-time distribution centre co-ordinator and will oversee the donated goods arriving and being itemised.
The success of the venture also depends to a great deal on recruiting volunteers to help run the service. Some will need a good understanding of computers and have an interest in researching ecommerce items so that market values can be put on the hospice’s premium goods on offer.
Volunteers will also be needed for packing the orders and for drivers to take goods out to the nine shops.
Recruitment of the volunteers will be led by David and Lisa Clarke, the recently appointed volunteer co-ordinator.
David said: “Working at the hospice is fantastic because I feel I am now doing a job that makes a difference to people’s lives. It feels to be much more than a job. And if everything goes to plan then it should make the financial future even better for Pendleside.”
If you have an interest in on line sales or driving for the Hospice please ring Lisa Clarke, volunteer coordinator 01282 440159 or email [email protected]. Alternatively visit the website www.pendleside.org.uk/volunteering.