A leading Surrey shopping centre is proving that charity begins at home – by launching a unique venture to support palliative care services.

St Nicholas Shopping Centre has joined forces with St Raphael’s Hospice and has created a very special community hub in a spacious unit on the ground floor at no cost to the charity.

The space will not only be used to raise awareness of the important service the Hospice provides for local people and their families, but will also give shoppers a chance to make donations and attend fundraising events.

“We are delighted to be able to support a Sutton charity which is so important to the local community, while delivering an exciting and innovative concept which can be of benefit to everyone,” said Gavin Waller, Centre Director at St Nicholas.

“The Hospice needs around £6m each year to run and, out of that amount, £4m has to be raised by the hospice itself, which is why it is vital that everyone gives whatever support they can.

“The community hub will make it easy for people to do that, by donating clothes, books and toys or even signing up for the Hospice Lottery.”

The hub’s aim is to be a space for ‘reflection, relaxation and awareness’ and it has been decorated to reflect St Raphael’s brand colours of lavender and grey, with a range of features designed to promote tranquillity.

Open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm, the hub will also be offering a varied event programme which will be run by St Raphael’s volunteers, with all shoppers invited to pop in on a regular basis.

Mike Roycroft, CEO at St Raphael’s, thanked St Nicholas for its support.

“St Raphael’s is at the heart of its community; enabling us to foster togetherness, the new hub will allow us to showcase the work we do and the exceptional end of life services we provide,” he said.

 “Having a home at a busy shopping centre like St Nicholas is a fantastic opportunity for us and we are very grateful for this amazing support.”