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St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre book sale raises thousands for charities

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What do Catherine Cookson, Chris Ryan, Danielle Steele and Tom Clancy have in common? Their books have helped the team at St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre to raise approximately £5,500 for local and national charities.

In the 19 months that Jane Powell, a receptionist at the centre in Portsmouth, has run the second-hand book and DVD trolley, the sales have reached around £5,500. Local charities the Tom Prince Cancer Trust, the Leigh Park Grotto and the Portsmouth Food Bank, as well as national charities such as Children in Need and the British Heart Foundation, have been among the beneficiaries.

She said: “We like to support the less well-known charities, who may not attract many fundraisers. We have raised money for Baby Basics, Stella’s Voice and Rett UK, a charity that supports people, like my brave young niece, who are living with Rett’s Syndrome, a debilitating neurological condition affecting the development of the brain and spinal cord. We also like to support local charities, as we are very much part of our local community and we want to support people living in the Portsmouth area.”

Each book and DVD is sold for £1, with more than 300 selling a month. Jane said: “Nothing stays on the shelf for long. Patients and colleagues love having the facility to pick something up and even their families have told them to keep an eye out for particular authors turning up on the trolley.”

Hospital director Penny Daniels said: “The team work hard to support the sale. They also take part in dress down days and cake sales to raise money for good causes. Jane has been a stalwart of the fundraising activities, coming in early to organise the trolley and even buying books to put on there when stock runs low. I am very proud of everybody’s efforts and delighted that we have been able to support so many people near and far.”

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