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  1. Everyone loves grabbing a bargain but if you visit the charity nearly new sales which are run by Helen, Janet and Pat at Hamworthy and Broadstone you’ll be helping a really great cause too.

    I knew that you could sell your own things at the sales but they will also happily accept donations with money taken going to their chosen charity SPRING.  SPRING stands for Support for Parents and Relatives In Neo-natal Grief - i.e. supporting families through losing a baby either during pregnancy, at or just after childbirth.

    A couple of lovely Mums at school knew I was donating and gave me a few things to take along so I had a good bundle of children’s bits to give for their next sale.

    nearly new sale bits donated

    Helen, Janet and Pat have voluntarily been running these sales for over ten years now, alternating venues each month (excluding July and August).

    I spoke to Helen and she told me it all started when she went to chaotic nearly new sale in Parkstone.  At the time she was helping to run a baby and toddler group in Upton and thought that a sale would be a great way to generate some much needed funds for the group.  With Pat and Janet they agreed that they should split the profits from the sales with a local charity and after a discussion with other mums in the group, SPRING was chosen. Unfortunately the toddler group closed but now all the proceeds from both sales go to the charity.

    SPRING is a relatively small charity and the money these sales raise is highly appreciated.  Last year, they donated an amazing £2883 to the charity.  SPRING provides support and professional counselling for families and there are special suites at St Mary's Maternity Unit where families can go when experiencing difficulties during pregnancy.  It has proved an invaluable resource for so many people, so much so that with the Maternity unit's expansion they now have their own entrance separate to the main maternity ward so that grieving parents no longer have to walk through it on their way home.

    These lovely ladies are very grateful for any donations of baby and children's items like toys, clothes, and equipment.  They’ll label them up themselves and sell them on behalf of SPRING.  If you have any items you would like to donate or you would like to sell your own items then you can contact Helen in Hamworthy by email on or Janet in Corfe Mullen on

    For details on upcoming sales, please see the poster below or visit the Facebook page.

    spring nearly new sales 2018


  2. I came across Post Pals a while back and immediately fell in love with this small charity which invites kind people to send a card, letter or a gift to a sick child to brighten up their day.

    The charity supports children aged 3 to 17 years anywhere in the UK and you’ll find each child on the website with some information about them and the illness they suffer plus their story so far, interests and important information on what not to send if applicable and a forwarding address.  If one of the Pals have a sibling then there will also be some information about them too as it’s nice for a brother or sister to feel involved.

    Myself and my daughter sat down recently and created some cards with a heart shaped potato stamp and I included some stickers in the card with a short but friendly note saying hi.

    postpals cards

    Some of you like me may be worried about what to write and PostPals have written a Guide to Writing Post which is very helpful.  In brief they invite you to talk about yourself, family or hobbies.  Kids love jokes and poems or maybe tell them something funny that happened to you or your family recently.  Most importantly there is some advise on what not to say including the well meaning phase ‘get well soon’.  If you write or send a card, keep it light hearted and fun.

    For more information on Post Pals or to send a card, please visit the Website.