CARDIAC REHAB CHARITY SHOP CLOSING DOWN
Since announcing back in April of this year the threat of closure hanging over the Cardiac Rehab Charity Shop in Market Street, Alton, staff, volunteers and supporters have been rallying round to do all they can to ensure the survival of the shop, which has been a part of Alton's town centre since 1994. It was therefore with great sadness and disappointment that the trustees of Cardiac Rehab have been left with no choice but to announce the closure of the shop on the 12th
The trading environment in Alton has been difficult for a number of years, and last year's flood further damaged an already weak trading position. Although trading has marginally improved, despite additional marketing, the shop sales have not picked up as hoped. All efforts to reduce expenditure were unsuccessful and therefore not enough to turn the tide, leaving the trustees faced with little room for manoeuvre. As company directors and charity trustees, the board have been very aware and mindful of their legal and moral responsibilities, and are saddened that having had a presence in the town for so many years they have had to take this very difficult decision.
Martin Lovell, General Manager of Cardiac Rehab said "everyone has worked so hard to try to find a solution to the problems the shop has faced, and this decision is particularly hard on the very loyal staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make the shop a success, I want, on behalf of the trustees and myself, pay tribute to their dedication and effort. We would also like to thank those loyal customers and supporters who have donated and bought goods from the shop over many years.
Cardiac Rehab established the Charity shop in Alton in the early days of the Charity, firstly on Crown Hill and, since 2004, on Market Street. The Cardiac Rehab shop was set up as part of the charity's trading subsidiary with the objective to generate profits to donate tax free to the charity, to support the work that it does.
It is particularly sad that Cardiac Rehab, a local charity serving local people, will no longer have a town centre presence. Cardiac Rehab continues to provide the essential and life-enhancing services it does, to its many exercisers at its specialist centre off Chawton Park Road, and the programmes that Cardiac Rehab provide are not under threat, however it still very much needs the local support that it has received.
Cardiac Rehab receives contributions from the exercisers who use its services, but most of its funds are raised through donations and the events it runs. The charity receives no funding from government or the NHS and so the income it needs to maintain the services it provides comes primarily from the generosity of the local community.
Heart disease remains one of the single biggest killers in the UK with on average 435 people each day losing their lives to cardiovascular disease. Cardiac Rehab is playing its part in improving the health, fitness and well-being of those with or those at risk of developing heart disease. Cardiac Rehab can do more, and wishes to do more, but does need the continuing support of the community to meet its annual running costs, which this year will be over £300,000.