A CHARITY shop will close its doors this year after spiralling costs forced it out of an East Dorset town.

The lease on the Julia’s House premises in Victoria Road, Ferndown, will end on September 28 this year and bosses at the children’s hospice have decided to close up for good.

The shop has been open for seven years, and its manager, Vanessa Burton, will be staying with the charity as a relief manager serving the 10 remaining Julia’s House shops around Dorset. Its volunteers have been invited to support neighbouring shops or local fundraising.

A new Ferndown Friends Group is being set up to ensure the continuing presence of the charity in the town.

The shop has received a huge number of donated goods over the years and it is hoped that residents will continue to support Julia’s House in this way. The nearest donation point will now be at its Wimborne shop. The charity also offers a collection service for larger items of furniture.

Chief Executive Martin Edwards said Julia’s House was sad to be losing the Ferndown shop but hadn’t entirely ruled out opening another shop there at a later date.

“Larger shops, where we can sell furniture, are proving to be the most popular and so this is likely to be the model for any future shops in Dorset,” he said.

“I would like to thank all our Ferndown volunteers for their unstinting help over many years. Support for Julia’s House there has been fantastic and we hope that, by having a new Friends Group in the town, we can continue to harness their support on behalf of the families we care for.

“Friends groups are a vital part of community fundraising, but without the high overheads of running a shop. Julia’s House depends almost entirely on the fundraising efforts and generosity of local people for its income. Without them, our care services could not exist.”