A local charity shop in North Durham has been celebrating after it raised £100,000 in sales for the first time.

The Stanley branch of Willow Burn Hospice had a record-breaking year in 2023-2024, reaching the landmark through sales of donated items.

It represents the first time any of the hospice's three outlets, including those in Chester-le-Street and Consett, have surpassed the £100,000-mark.

Stanley's branch manager, Sally Ruddle, praised the North East community for their role in hitting this milestone.

She said: "It's hard to sum up just how grateful we are for the amazing contributions of people who donate items and our customers because they are the lifeblood of this shop."

"Our wonderful volunteers create a great atmosphere where people want to come in and have a browse and a natter, and I'm always amazed at how far some travel from across the North East to visit.

"I thank my volunteers every day because they are crucial to the success of the shop, and we couldn't achieve what we do without their great work and positivity."

Among the dedicated volunteers is Olga Milburn, a former mayor and current town councillor, who has worked at the shop for 17 years.

Ms Milburn said: "The people of Stanley have shown time and again that they are some of the most generous around.

"They always look after their own and there's not a charity around which won't receive great support from such a fantastic community."

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Following the funds raised in excess, Willow Burn Hospice continues to appeal for more donations.

Willow Burn's deputy chief executive, Rachel Quince, said: "We couldn't be more thankful for the generosity of people across the North East who choose Willow Burn Hospice to donate their goods to.

"We would always encourage people to donate wherever possible because the stock we are receiving is flying out as fast as it's coming in."

The hospice, based in Lanchester, County Durham provides end-of-life and palliative care through an array of services, including inpatient care and counselling services, to those with incurable illnesses.