Baggies legend, Brendon Batson, officially opened a new charity shop today (Thursday 25 October), as it starts raising vital funds for a local hospice close to his heart.
The former West Brom defender cut the ribbon to Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s latest store, which is located in the middle of Bearwood’s busy high street.
Along with staff and volunteers, Brendon welcomed shoppers from across the C to the launch event, who enjoyed fizz and cupcakes whilst browsing for bargains.
Brendon – who became a patron of Birmingham St Mary’s last year – is showing his support for the Hospice after doctors and nurses cared for his wife Cecily in 2009. He said: “I’ll never forget the care and support Birmingham St Mary’s provided to my wife and our family. We were treated with such kindness and dignity and it was a huge comfort that Cecily could be cared for at home.
“I’ve really enjoyed coming to Bearwood to officially open the Hospice’s new store and meet its wonderful shoppers. It’s heartening to know that the Hospice is continuing to increase its numbers of shops, as every penny raised goes towards supporting local people and their families during the most difficult of times.”
Birmingham St Mary’s new store in Bearwood is the Hospice’s only shop in Sandwell. All funds raised will go towards providing care and support to people living with life-limiting illness across Birmingham and Sandwell.
Tina Swani, Chief Executive at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “I know we have a lot of Baggies fans in Bearwood, so it was a real honour to welcome Brendon to our shop to officially cut the ribbon. Our new store will not only be a valuable source of income for the Hospice but it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to grow our profile in Sandwell and hopefully educate more people about the vital services a hospice can provide.”
On any given day, Birmingham St Mary’s is caring for 400 people living with life-limiting in their homes, in their community, or at the Hospice.
Its shop is based at 523 Bearwood Road, Smethwick, B66 4BE. It will be open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
To find out more about the Hospice, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk