Can you help Sue Ryder sales survive?
June 18, 2012
An appeal has gone out to landowners to help keep the famous Sue Ryder sales going once the charity moves to its new building.
Sue Ryder Care will move to a purpose-built hospice at Townlands Hospital in Henley towards the end of 2014.
But over the last 30 years the ample buildings and grounds at its current Nettlebed hospice, the childhood home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, have provided the setting for three-weekly sales which have grown in prominence to become one of the charity’s most important income streams.
They provide a significant chunk of the £1.4m the charity has to raise annually as part of its £2.3 million running costs. However, selling the land leaves no place for the sales which regularly attract between 1,200 and 1,700 buyers, some from as far afield as London.
Area fundraising manager Katie Cuthbert said the requirements for the sales are parking for 800-1,000 cars (approx 4.5 acres) and buildings with 11,000 sq ft of space where donations of goods can be left throughout the week.
Sue Ryder Care is hoping a tolerant landowner would allow the charity to use the site every third Saturday and for taking and storing donations during the week.
She said; “We are looking for someone who is happy to have 1,000 cars in a three hour period.”
She said land with a barn or an old airfield with a hangar would suit but to keep the customer base, the charity wants to stay within easy reach of Reading and Henley.
Miss Cuthbert said: “This side of Reading and Twyford would be ideal. One thing that our sales are famous for is the good quality donations they get.
“People come for hats for the regatta and ladieswear but there is a good broad customer base from Reading.”
If a site cannot be found she said the charity may have to scale the sales down and use a smaller venue. It is resigned to the loss of style for which its current building is known.
Miss Cuthbert added: “The current building has its own character and reputation.
“We won’t be able to replicate it but it’s trying to find somewhere that’s got that sort of character.”
Contact Katie or Marion on 01491 641070 or at firstname.lastname@example.org