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British Heart Foundation charity shop in Stowmarket celebrates 15 years of business

PUBLISHED: 21:48 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:42 12 February 2018

British Heart Foundation celebrates 15th anniversary in Stowmarket. Picture: GREGG BROWN

British Heart Foundation celebrates 15th anniversary in Stowmarket. Picture: GREGG BROWN

According to Assistant Manager Philip Aldous, the shop has just had its best year to date in terms of sales – and continues to go from strengh to strength.

Veteran volunteer Pearl has been with the team since day one. Picture: GREGG BROWN Veteran volunteer Pearl has been with the team since day one. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Stowmarket charity shop celebrated its 15th anniversary in the town on Friday, together with two of its volunteers who have been with the team since day one.

Pearl Reynolds, 75, and Thelma Broadbent have been loyal volunteers at the shop since it opened in 2003.

Ms Reynolds decided to get involved shortly after retiring aged 60, when she passed an advert in the Stowmarket shop window. She said it was the perfect way to wind down after a busy working life.

“I was just walking through the town, passed the shop and noticed in the window they were advertising for volunteers, and I thought: ‘There’s an answer!’” she said.

Having started off working three times a week in the sort room, she has gradually reduced the workload over the course of the 15 years – now manning the till once weekly.

Ms Reynolds added: “It’s a great crowd of people who work here, we’re all like family.

“Sarah, the manager, and Phil, the assistant manager, are so keen. We get a lot of comments from people saying how nice the shop is.”

The British Heart Foundation shop on Ipswich Street has 44 volunteers who help on the shop floor, work in the sort room, or help by being a driver collecting from customers’ homes.

According to Assistant Manager Philip Aldous, the shop has just had its best year to date in terms of sales – and continues to go from strengh to strength.

He said: “We are one of the smaller shops but we all have big hearts, joining in with the town’s carnival celebrations, street collections, late night shopping, plus other events.”

Louise Harbour, Regional Manager at the British Heart Foundation said: “We’ve enjoyed a fantastic 15 years of business in the Stowmarket shop. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers and volunteers who really make this shop special and help the BHF fund our life saving research.

“We are looking forward to welcoming even more customers to the Stowmarket shop and making the next 15 years just as successful! We’re always in need of support, so if you are having a clear out in the coming weeks, please do keep us in mind as we would love to receive any good-quality donations such as clothing, shoes, bags, coats, accessories and books. We even offer a free collection service, making donating completely hassle-free. To find out more, please call us on 01449 678127 or feel free to pop into the store to talk to one of our friendly staff members.”

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