In an amazing display of teamwork, collaboration and sheer hard work, our shop downstairs in the former Gala Bingo space at The Point was transformed into an event venue once more! 

This was no mean feat; it was certainly a logistical challenge to empty 7500 square feet of retail space. Our events team began operations on Friday morning while our retail crew continued to welcome customers.  

The Point closed early to allow superstar retail Project manager, Leila and her team to move all stock, fixtures and fittings. A troop of vacuuming volunteers from around the Hospice, including our lovely Ben from the Marketing Team, then set to work on the huge expanse of carpet.  

Kevin, our jovial Retail Commercial Manager told us “By 7 pm on Friday night, all of the fixtures had been moved and the entire of shop floor had been cleaned and vacuumed, causing the sad and frustrating loss of no less than four Hoovers!” 

For those of you that regularly shop at The Point, you’ll be interested to learn that our Coffee Shop was re-imagined as a fully operational bar for the evening, the Donations area was made available for our amazing caterers, The Brothers Supper, and their team. Our till area become a fully-serviced cloakroom facility and the raised area at the back, usually space to display our homeware and bric-a-brac hosted the champagne reception  complete with  wonderful Pianist, Bhav.

Early on Saturday morning, Nikki, Katrina, Lisa and Harriet, who make up our spectacular events team, set about the most amazing transformation ready to welcome over 200 VIP guests. The team were joined by the Gala Dinner Organising Committee, volunteers and colleagues from our retail teams and helpers from around all facets of our Charity.

The attention to detail was striking, the room was adorned with gold Oscar statues, gold-dipped Champagne bottles, Ostrich feathers, Black and White photos of Hollywood Icons lined the walls. The shop mannequins were dressed in 1920’s glam, Old Hollywood style, with pre-loved items from our networks of shops.  

At 9 am on Sunday morning, the teams returned to begin the transformation back to a retail store ready to open on Monday morning. With help from some of our Senior Leadership Team and Maintenance Team, fixtures were moved back, shelves were rebuilt, the rails of pre-loved clothes returned, the bar came the coffee shop once again. 

Our events and retail teams, supported by the wider Willen Family have truly shined and the Gala Dinner was a hugely successful event. Their motivation and inspiration, as always, is to raise funds so our that our incredible clinical teams can continue to look after our community.