Despite the blow of the burglary in Oxford, volunteers working for Helen & Douglas House in Didcot had reason to celebrate yesterday.

The charity’s new-look shop in Broadway was officially opened by Wantage MP and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and the hospice’s founder Sister Frances Dominica, pictured.

The shop has been expanded by merging the charity’s original shop with the furniture shop next door. The charity shop will now be able to accept more clothes and furniture to be sold in aid of the Oxford hospice.

The charity’s head of retail, David Cryer, said: “This will allow us to take a lot more furniture.

“We’ve already had more brought in in one morning than we used to take in a week.”

Mr Vaizey donated a bag of old clothes to encourage others to give unused and unwanted items to charities.

He said: “Helen & Douglas House has been providing a service for families in this region, who are dealing with the most difficult circumstances possible, for 30 years. I would ask people to support this pioneering charity in any way they can.”

Sister Frances said: “I’m delighted to see so much space and to see it filled with enthusiastic customers, staff and volunteers.”