AN OTLEY-based charity group which provides free TV, drinks and other treats for haematology patients is opening a shop in the town.

Hug on a Tray will officially open the new premises at 15 Manor Square at 10am on Monday, November 15.

The scheme, run by Chevin Socialites, works to provide drinks and free television for haematology patients and visitors at St James’ Hospital in Leeds.

The new shop - or Hug on a Tray hub - will help fundraisers to continue their important work.

The group is hoping to provide free TV provision for patients in 2022.

A spokeswoman said: "This year has been absolutely amazing with so many people supporting Hug on a Tray 2022 free TV provision is in the bag.

"This is all thanks to a combination of promotion, doing many tombolas, and donations from wonderful individuals, and companies throughout Otley, Leeds and surrounding areas, support has been fabulous, and since we publicised the fact that we had achieved our goal for 2022, this has brought forward new companies eager and willing to help us both now, and in the foreseeable future with fantastic donations of stock and gifts to benefit all the patients we support in Bexley, St James’s.

"For a long time now we’ve been looking for a small, affordable lock up shop here in Otley where we can do tombolas under cover through the winter months so we don’t lose money, as we are at the moment with every rainy day.

"This will also provide storage space, and serve as a base for Hug on a Tray, a ‘Hub’ where we can expand and interact with community in the town.

"There will be potential for events that would interest children such as Santa’s Grotto this Christmas. Also afterwards themed events. The shop will be selling new products that have already been donated.

"The work being done just now to renovate is being done either totally free or labour costs free, we are amazed at the kindness and generosity of so many people wanting to make a difference in the lives of others.

"So, with this opportunity, we’re ‘giving it a go ‘ and with ongoing hard work hope to make a profit and secure many years of free TV for patients in the future.

"Outside tombola’s will continue as usual outside M&Co, Bay Horse Court in Otley, and Yeadon Morrisons in dry weather."

Chevin Socialites originally started collecting money to help patients on the J88 Haematology ward at St James’ Hospital receive free TV, phone and internet use over Christmas in 2015. Public support was so strong the appeal soon widened to include Ward J89, too, along with a ‘Hug on a Tray’ scheme to supply each patient with refreshments and snacks.