Bride said ‘yes to the dress’ in Willow Burn Charity Shop

On 23 March, a local bride married at Bowburn Hall in her dream wedding dress thanks to the staff and volunteers from Willow Burn Hospice.

Ashley Walford (nee Curran) was shopping with her mum in August 2017 when she visited the Willow Burn Hospice Stanley shop and found the dress she was to marry fiancé Richard Walford in. Both Ashley and her mum are regular supporters of the the charity’s shops, following the care provided for her late grandma, but neither expected to make such a special purchase in one.

Ashley said: “We had the most perfect wedding day and it was made even more special knowing that we were supporting a charity that is so close to our hearts. I would encourage everyone to visit these lovely shops as you never know what you will find – I’m so glad I did!”

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Willow Burn for the brilliant work they do throughout our community and for all of the care and support they offered to my family when my Grandma was ill. I would also like to say a personal thank you to all of the staff and volunteers involved in helping me say ‘yes to the dress’.”

Willow Burn Hospice operates three shops in Chester-le-Street, Consett and Stanley. All of the stores sell a wide variety of clothing, toys, bric-a-brac and specialist items of interest; all proceeds go towards providing vital hospice and day care for the people of Derwentside.

Alison Hands, Interim CEO of Willow Burn Hospice said: “We are delighted to have been part of Ashley’s special day. There are some real finds in our charity shops and this is a great example of how supporting local shops and businesses benefits the whole community.”

“Our shops wouldn’t be so successful without the support of our wonderful team of shop managers and their volunteers and I would like to say a huge thank you to them for the difference they make every day.”

Each Willow Burn charity shop is open Monday to Saturday and is supported by a team of volunteers. If you would like to make a difference to people like Ashley by volunteering in one of the charity’s shops, please get in touch with the volunteering team at Willow Burn Hospice to register your interest: or call: 01207 529 224

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