New Tearfund shop opens

SET up on a shoestring, a new charity shop has opened in Felixstowe highlighting the exploitation of the Third World but also raising money to help its people.

SET up on a shoestring, a new charity shop has opened in Felixstowe highlighting the exploitation of the Third World and raising money to help its people.

The Sonlight Shop in Hamilton Road stocks new goods which are being sold to raise cash for the work of Christian agency, Tearfund.

Shop owner, Jan Brown, is selling a mixture of clothes and household items – from dresses to dishcloths – as well as goods from the Tearcraft range, which can also be ordered from a catalogue in the shop.

Jan, a member of the Ranelagh Road Christian Fellowship in Felixstowe, spent as little money as possible on shop fittings, including accepting a free carpet and a donated shop counter, to maximise the profit for the charity.

"I have set up on a shoestring because I want as much money as possible to be raised," said Jan, a former village shop owner.

"The shop has not got off to the best of starts because I don't think people understand what it is about, but we are trying and praying hard.

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"A lot of people have looked in the window and assumed that we are a second-hand shop or complained at the prices because everything is new."

The prices of new goods were being kept as competitive as possible with other shops, while the Tearcraft goods are unique to the shop.

Tearcraft, which is part of Tearfund, buys goods from workers in projects in the Third World but ensures that their traditional crafts are safeguarded and that they are paid a fair wage, including money for healthcare and education.

The workers have good conditions and working hours, and the production of the different products must not damage the environment.

The projects produce a wide range of items – from jewellery to candle holders, decorative boxes and ornaments, furniture to kitchenware, religious items to toys, and stationery to gifts.

"There are so many workers across the Third World who are exploited by companies for their goods and work, leaving them in poverty and milking the environment," said Jan.

"But Tearcraft ensures they are dealt with fairly and given dignity and fair pay."

Tearfund supports many projects around the world, including working with partners to provide disaster and emergency relief in different lands.

The Sonlight Shop opens from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, except Wednesday.