Volunteers at a much-loved charity shop which raises vital cash for the Pear Tree Fund have issued a rally cry asking for the public’s support when it reopens on Saturday (11 July) following the coronavirus pandemic.

Dee’s Den, which is in Steeple End, Halesworth, is gearing up to welcome back shoppers keen to bag a bargain – all while maintaining a safe social distance.

As well as rearranging the inside of the shop so that people can remain one to two metres apart at all times, the team which runs Dee’s Den on behalf of the Pear Tree Fund (formerly known as Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund) have also introduced additional measures to keep everyone safe. This includes PPE for staff, as well as quarantining any new donations for 72 hours to ensure they are COVID-free.

The shop will initially open with limited hours, from 10am to 1pm, and will only accept donations at the newly-acquired end of the building on Monday and Thursday mornings. Anyone who would like to bring in a donation should make sure any clothes are freshly washed and put into a tied bag before they are brought in. Bric-a-brac and books should be clean and in a good condition, and must be delivered in closed containers such as plastic or cardboard boxes. The shop is unfortunately unable to accept toys at the moment, and can no longer accept electrical items.

Pear Tree Fund trustee Nikki Sawkins, who manages the volunteers who run the shop, said: “The past few months have been very difficult for our charity, as we have had to cancel all of the fundraising events we had planned over the summer. At the same time, demand for the support we offer has increased as people have turned to us for counselling, dementia support and benefits advice while the lockdown has been in place.

“We are asking local people to help us by popping into Dee’s Den when we reopen on Saturday, browsing our shop at a safe distance and picking up a bargain. We would also welcome good quality donations, so if you’ve had a clear out at home during the lockdown, please do consider donating your unwanted items to us.

“We are incredibly grateful for all of the support we receive from our fantastic community and are really looking forward to welcoming people back to Dee’s Den when we reopen on Saturday.”

Money raised at the shop will go towards the running costs of the Pear Tree Centre, which opened earlier this year to bring vital information and support closer to home for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

The centre, which is next to Cutlers Hill Surgery in Halesworth, has also temporarily closed, but plans to reopen to people from across north east Suffolk and south Norfolk in early August.

To find out more about the centre, make a donation or find out how you could support the charity in other ways, visit www.peartreefund.org


The Pear Tree Fund, formerly known as Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund, was set up more than 30 years ago to support people with life-limiting illnesses who wish to die in the comfort and security of their own homes.

It works alongside the NHS and social services to provide extra equipment and 24-hour care in the last days of life along with emotional, physical and practical support at the time when people need it the most.

For more information, please visit www.peartreefund.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, both @ThePearTreeFund