Sunday, 14 August 2022

Charity to open 20th shop in Watlington

A NEW charity shop is to open in Watlington next Saturday (May 6).

Mercy in Action has taken over the former post office premises in High Street and will sell clothing, greetings cards, household items, CDs, DVDs and toys.

It will have a noticeboard outside for people to promote community events.

The shop will be the 20th nationwide to be opened by the charity, which was founded by John and Allison Todd in 1995 to help feed, educate and nurture vulnerable street children in the Philippines.

In September the charity opened its 17th shop in Benson high street.

Lee Giles, the charity’s retail co-ordinator, said: “We’re very excited to get up to 20 shops and pleased to be in Watlington, which is a lovely town with a vibrant high street.

“We’re keen to be part of the community and have already been in touch with several community groups, including Age Concern, who have said how excited they are to have a charity shop in the town.

“We’re looking to provide something we don’t believe Watlington has had before, or certainly not in a long time.”

The charity began after Mrs Todd and her husband went on holiday to the Philippines and were approached by five boys asking for food as they hadn’t eaten for three days.

She said: “We bought them some food and the next day they came with their friends and by the end of the week there were 18 of them.

“We committed, through friends who live there, to send £40 a month and it has grown from there.

“We now have three children’s homes in Cebu — one for girls, one for boys and one dedicated home for boys rescued from sexual trafficking.”

The charity also operates a drop-in centre and a community centre and runs school programmes.

It employs about 40 people and currently has more than 400 children in school or college with every one guaranteed a job when they graduate.

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