St Catherine’s Hospice has opened up a brand new boutique shop in Longton. They also have shops in Preston, Chorley, Leyland and Penwortham. I was delighted to officially open the store along with the charity’s chair of Trustees, Cliff Hughes and a number of volunteers. Charity shops are a really great part of a good high street retail mix. And they’re not only a money-making venture – they are very important community hubs staffed by volunteers. Volunteering in retail is a fantastic way for people to learn on the job and gain new skills and retail experience, as well as meet new people, which plays an important role in my campaigning to address the issues of loneliness. I know how important St Catherine’s is to the local community; it does fantastic work with patients and all their families, and the shops are a really vital part of that work. I highly recommend the new Longton shop – it has amazing stock and lovely volunteers!