Civil servants take over Richard House shops

The winning team outside the Barking shop

The winning team outside the Barking shop - Credit: Tom Morton

Civil servants ditched the day job to compete in the Richard House Children’s Hospice ‘Shop Challenge Competition’.

Staff from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had their commercial knowledge tested as they took over five charity shops in Barking, Dagenham, Hornchurch and Upminster.

In the one day challenge, teams priced goods, organised displays and assisted customers. They also raised extra money prior to the event from raffles, cake sales and a slimathon – fetching £4,544.16 in total.

The money will help Richard House support children with life-limiting, life-threatening and complex healthcare conditions in London.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms, who drew the prizes for the raffle, said: “I am very pleased this lively group of civil servants has chosen to support Richard House. Like so many in our community, they have been enthused by its work – and threw themselves heart and soul into some imaginative fund-raising exploits!”

Howard Orme, director general for Finance and Commercial, said: “We wanted to do something a little different – to take us out of the office and hopefully make a difference to people’s lives.

“I am very proud of my staff, who threw themselves into it wholeheartedly, and to raise so much money made the experience worthwhile. I’d certainly recommend the shop challenge to colleagues!”

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