Saturday, 17 November 2018

...and charity shop across road celebrates 15 years

...and charity shop across road celebrates 15 years

A CHARITY shop in Sonning Common has celebrated its 15th anniversary.

Christian Community Action in Wood Lane marked the occasion by offering cake and refreshments to customers.

There was also a half-price sale of all stock on October 16, the exact date of the anniversary.

The shop raises tens of thousands of pounds a year for the charity, which provides essential second-hand furniture for people in crisis as well as supporting them finding employment.

It also runs a support centre for people who need essentials, gives food parcels to families in need and runs a drop-in centre at Caversham Baptist Church offering lunches to homeless people and those on low incomes.

Shop manager Mark Hill, who joined the branch in 2010, said: “Everything we make goes into supporting the charity and its work.

“After 15 years we are still here and still working with the community. Our group of volunteers is almost like a family and we know 90 per cent of our customers by their first names because they are regulars.”

The shop receives scores of donations each week and about 90 per cent are good enough quality to be resold. The rest are recycled where possible or disposed of.  Mr Hill said the shop was also somewhere for people to go if they felt lonely and wanted to chat to someone else.

“We see the shop as a community hub,” he said. “We offer people tea, coffee and support.”

The shop has more than 20 volunteers, most of whom have been helping since the store opened in 2003.

Mr Hill said: “We celebrated our seventh anniversary but have not done anything since then.

“Fifteen isn’t a massive anniversary but it felt like a good chance for our customers to come in, have a cup of tea and some cake and get a bargain.

“It was a very successful day and it helps us with our mission to help those who need support in some way or other.”

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