Springhill Hospice is lauded for restoring an empty pub into a tea room –

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Springhill Hospice is lauded for restoring an empty pub into a tea room

Pamela Gray, team leader (left) and Sarah-Lee Ford, income services manager at Springhill Hospice

Springhill Hospice has been praised for its ‘inventive’ work to renovate an empty pub.

The charity received an award from Hospice UK in recognition of its transformation of The Craven Heifer into Springhill Tea Rooms and Gift Shop at the Craven.

The Broad Lane site had been derelict for two years, but was taken on by the hospice in early 2014 and revamped into the building to sell cuppas, cakes and other items to raise funds for the charity.

Now, the venture, which was launched last December, has received the Most Inventive Hospice Retail Initiative Award at the recent Hospice UK Retail Conference.

Julie Halliwell, chief executive at Springhill Hospice said: “I am delighted that we have won this award. Staff and volunteers have worked so hard to renovate the premises and get the tea room and gift shop up and running.

They very much deserve recognition for the work they have done. It is increasingly difficult to secure the funds we need to operate the Hospice, and we are constantly looking for innovative income generation schemes.

“The sale of the pub came at just the right time for us, and gave us an opportunity to house our income services team at the same time as developing the tea room and gift shop. We are very grateful to the public for continuing to support us so well.”

The tea room has space for 60 customers and serves home made treats such as crumpets, sandwiches, cakes, soup and afternoon tea. An outdoor seating area is being set up for the summer months.

Sarah-Lee Ford, income services manager at Springhill Hospice added: “Opening the tea rooms has been one of our biggest challenges for the income services team.

However, it’s also been one of the most rewarding seeing people meeting friends and enjoying a cake and a catch up whilst making money for the hospice.”

Antonia Bunnin, director of Hospice Support and Development at Hospice UK, added: “In recent years there have been lots of headlines about pub closures and empty premises in our communities.

“The way that Springhill Hospice has brought this old building back to life, back to the community – all while raising vital funds for hospice care – is a wonderfully impressive and creative initiative that deserves to be recognised.”

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