Run of bad luck for hospice shops in Bexhill

The St Michael's Hospice shop at 79 Devonshire Road, Bexhill. SUS-160524-154410001
The St Michael's Hospice shop at 79 Devonshire Road, Bexhill. SUS-160524-154410001

A much-loved local charity has experienced a run of bad luck recently with its charity shops in Bexhill.

St Michael’s Hospice has been forced to close one of the stores until further notice after falling ceiling tiles disturbed asbestos.

And the windows on another shop have been boarded up this week to protect them from high winds.

Retail manager Alex Knight said specialist contractors had to be called in to 56 Devonshire Road after it was feared potentially harmful asbestos had been disturbed.

He said: “Two ceiling tiles fell in while the shop was closed and potentially disturbed asbestos fibres.

“The shop was sealed off immediately and an asbestos removal firm was on site within 48 hours to contain any potential disturbance.

“At present the area affected has been isolated, deep cleaned and contained by an approved asbestos contractor.

“The same contractor has been appointed to remove the asbestos and a new ceiling will be installed.

“The shops has been deemed safe however we take the safety of our volunteers, staff and public very seriously and as such have taken the decision to close the shop until the works are completed.”

Meanwhile the charity has taken action to board up the windows on its shop at 79 Devonshire Road following some ‘movement’ in recent high winds.

The windows are secure and no damage has been caused, but Mr Knight added that the hospice was “seeking professional advice as to the next course of action”.

The shop remains open as normal.

St Michael’s Hospice has to raise more than £10,000 a day to provide specialist palliative care across Hastings and Rother, with its charity shops helping towards this total.

A spokesperson for St Michael’s Hospice said: “Volunteering at the hospice shops can be rewarding and valuable.

“It can help increase confidence, give you the opportunity to learn new skills, develop your CV and it’s a fantastic way of meeting new people.

“If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact or call the Voluntary Services team on 01424 445177.”

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