Third Sector Awards: Enterprise Award – East Anglia's Children's Hospices

Awarded to a social enterprise or charity that has significantly improved its income from its commercial activities in recent years.

Enterprise Award – East Anglia's Children's Hospices

What does it do?

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. EACH needs to raise £5.5m from fundraising and £5.4m from its shops every year.

How does it make money?

EACH has significantly expanded its retail operation, which has grown from 14 shops in 2014 to 43 in 2021. Recognising that some people feel high streets are becoming saturated with charity shops, EACH has continued to adapt, with a range of new outlets including boutique and furniture shops.

Store-wide offers and campaigns keep customers returning to buy and donate goods. Free Books for Kids, for example, is a members' club for local children, where children can buy one book and get another one free every school holiday. Dress Claire, a bold campaign to drive donations, featured life-sized cut-outs of bereaved mum Claire Wright and led to an increase in donations and strong media coverage. All shops have a Good Enough for Gifts-branded area, showing customers that charity shops can be a place to buy presents for loved ones.

What has it achieved?

Profit from EACH’s shops is now 2.5 times higher than in 2014, and turnover has risen from £1,954,775 to £4,932,805. EACH has focused on growing its online presence with a thriving eBay store, which sells items across the world – including clothes donated by EACH Ambassador Ed Sheeran. It has also set up a shop on Amazon Marketplace, and in 2021 launched Style with EACH, a vintage shop on ASOS Marketplace.

National lockdowns have posed significant challenges, including reducing volunteer hours by half. A 'We Need YOU' recruitment campaign resulted in a flood of new sign-ups, with more than 100 in two weeks.

What did the judges say?

“Some fantastic innovation here and great application of commercial principles to drive forward success in this area.”

Finalists

  • Family Fund Business Services
  • Homeless Link
  • Royal Air Force Museum
  • Shared Interest Society
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