Irene's opshopping tips

“The secret is to keep going in, because you never know what's coming through the door. I go in at least two or three times week. That's how you shop. You've got to say ‘Do I want it? Do I need it? If yes, go and get it.”

That's the message from Irene Howson, who, along with her husband Mark,  took over the lease of the Portside Inn Backpackers Lodge in Ahuriri, Napier in 2009.

She has used her regular trips to the Napier Hospice Shop to furnish and decorate the lodge.

“We have 12 rooms catering for 52 guests and parking spaces for six camper vans. The backpackers had been closed when we took it over and was in a bad state of repair," Irene says.

"The chattels that were there needed complete replacing. We really started from scratch and to say it was a challenge is an understatement.”

They started out by buying new refurbishments, but they only had a shoestring budget.

“I thought what was I doing buying all this new stuff when second hand was as good?”

Over the next four years, whenever Irene spotted something in the hospice shop that she needed for the lodge, she bought it. Bath mats, towels and bedding, games of every description, shelving, an impressive office chair, clothes racks, kettles, ironing boards, sets of drawers, pots, pans, crockery, cutlery; are now making the Lodge a homely place. A big teddy in the lounge gets lots of cuddles.

Three things Irene is always looking out for are bathmats and mattress protectors and candles.

“I buy a lot of candles. They are a big saving for me and a finishing touch that people really appreciate.”

Irene is enthusiastic about the Napier Hospice shop because she likes the quality and enjoys the range of items for sale.

“I admire the staff. They are a really friendly bunch of people. They seem to put a lot of care into how they present things.”

She also likes the shop's Loyalty Card.

If you are one of our many loyal hospice shop supporters - thank you! If you haven't yet visited a hospice shop, do pop in and have a browse. We also welcome people wanting to join our friendly volunteer team.

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Irenes Opshopping Secret

"I admire the staff. They are a really friendly bunch of people. They seem to put a lot of care into how they present things." Irene Howson