Director of Retail

Ashley Henson

Ashley Henson was appointed Demelza’s Director of Retail In June 2018 and joined the organisation in January 2017.  He has 12 years charity retail experience and headed up the retail operation for two hospices previously at Harris Hospice and St Christopher’s.
 
As part of the senior management team at Harris Hospice, Ashley oversaw the merger of Harris and St Christopher’s Hospices, working closely with the Trustee board and then joining St Christopher’s Hospice fully.  During this time, the retail operation trebled and income doubled and the charity opened five additional shops. Ashley also developed the organisation’s strategy for volunteer recruitment training and retention.
 
Ashley manages change and drives standards and income. Over the next three years he has ambitions to grow Demelza’s retail income by 30 per cent.
 
He said:  “I aim to make Demelza shops the best they can be to reflect the great care we provide.  Our shops are a key part of our communities and the window to Demelza Hospice Care for Children.  We will offer a great shopping experience, great stock and many opportunities to develop staff and volunteers. Our shops will be the best on our local high streets.”  
 
Ashley pursued a career in the third sector after managing health and fitness clubs, golf clubs and golf shops. Project management has included opening three multi-million pound health clubs for Holmes Place, David Lloyd and Leisure Connection, in addition to the redevelopment of two golf clubs for a national chain.
 
Ashley studied economics, geography and media and specialised further by studying commercial operations and sales. He is also skilled in health and safety and qualified under IOSH.
 
As part of his management roles at Holmes Place and Virgin Health Clubs, Ashley instructed and coached swimming, first aid, lifeguards, Spin classes and fitness sessions.  He is still qualified and teaches if time permits.
 
As a father of two, family time is precious and Ashley loves the great outdoors with his children.  
 
He loves the great outdoors so much, that back in the day, he travelled the planet and backpacked all seven continents including charity hikes and mountain climbs.