Demelza's children's hospice has reported its best day of trading in it's history after reopening its doors for the first time in 2021 on Monday.

The charity, which works across south east London and Kent, reopened its 26 retail outlets on Monday, the first day non-essential shop were allowed to reopen following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Large but orderly queues formed up, over £6,000 was spent on ladies fashion and donations also flooded in during a day of "calm but palpable excitement."

The hospice, along with hundreds of other charities, have been financially pummelled by the pandemic, but Demelza said Monday was the best day of trading it had ever had.

Demelza Hospice Care for Children generated over £25,000 during the day of April 12, and the charity says the team had been working "incredibly hard" to make sure they were ready for the day.

Ashley Henson, Demelza’s Director of Retail, said: “The team at Demelza have worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks to make sure we were in a strong position to open up safely and within government guidelines.

Demelza Hospice director Ashely Henson

Demelza Hospice director Ashely Henson

"The majority of staff and volunteers are now back at work after long absences. A small team took advantage of the lockdown to refresh shops and drive e-commerce activity with our online platforms.

"There was a very calm but palpable excitement yesterday. Queues have been orderly and sales steady with an average spend of just under £9 per customer with a staggering £6300 taken in ladies fashion!

"Our distribution centre in Maidstone has taken over 30 cages of stock which equates to nearly 600 bags of donations."

Demelza Hospice

Demelza Hospice

Demelza provides a lifeline to over 750 children and young people in south east London, Kent and east Sussex.

They work with youngsters with serious or terminal conditions and their families.

The charity says it has seen a significant impact on income as a result of the closure of its charity stores and cancellation or postponement of community fundraising and key events over the past 12 months.

Ashley continued: “We have a long way to go to make up the shortfall in income but this is a great start and a huge thank you goes out to Demelza’s retail team, and all of those who donate and shop with us”.

More information on the shops themselves and how to safely donate is available here: