A NEW charity shop supporting a Dorset children’s hospice has been welcomed as the latest arrival to Dorchester’s high street.

Julia’s House has officially opened the doors to its new charity shop in South Street and staff have praised the public’s generosity.

Dorchester Mayor Tess James and Town Crier Alistair Chisholm provided a traditional county town welcome before a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Staff from Julia’s House and special guest Honey Arnold-Jones, one of the many youngsters who received the invaluable support from the hospice, were also at the event.

Manager of the new shop Helen Hodgetts said it had received plenty of donations to help get the store off to a good start and was delighted with the reception it had received.

She said: “Everyone has been so generous, people who haven’t donated items have been bringing in cash donations, it’s been lovely.

“We are really looking forward to being here, everyone’s been really positive and all the businesses have been really positive which is lovely.”

Mrs Hodgetts said the store had already attracted 17 volunteers to work alongside the two paid staff but she was hoping to recruit a few more volunteers.

She said: “We need to recruit a few more to keep us running at a good level and will probably be up in the mid 20s.

“It’s just fabulous really that people are willing to give up their time for nothing.”

Councillor James said: “We are delighted that we have got a real focal point for Julia’s House and all the good work they are doing in Dorset and for this part of the county.

“We hope the shop is a great success. It certainly looks like they have put in a lot of work getting it looking good and I’m sure it will be very popular for people to come and shop as well as finding out more about the Friends of Julia’s House.”

The opening of the Julia’s House store is part of a double boost for the bottom end of South Street, with the reopening of the charity shop’s neighbouring premises P and J Butchers. To find out more about donating to the Julia’s House store or giving up your time as a volunteer call 01305 267999.