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Oxfam set to return to Sudbury shop destroyed in fire

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 May 2019

The Oxfam Shop in Friars Street Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

The Oxfam Shop in Friars Street Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

Oxfam is to move back into its original shop in Sudbury four years after it was devastated in a fire - and locals can get a sneak preview before it re-opens through a volunteer recruitment day.

The newly-refurbished Oxfam store takes shape four years after it was destroyed in a fire Picture: OXFAMThe newly-refurbished Oxfam store takes shape four years after it was destroyed in a fire Picture: OXFAM

The charity has been in a temporary store in Friars Street ever since the blaze that destroyed historic Goldsmith's Mansion in Market Hill in September 2015.

Now, the store will re-open in its original home on May 23 following a major rebuild of Goldsmith's Mansion.

Deborah Docksey, Oxfam regional volunteer resourcing manager, said the staff were delighted to be moving back in.

"We will be able to sell so many more products that we are currently unable to do because of lack of space, so to be going back is fantastic," she said.

Firefighters tackle the blaze in Goldsmith's Mansion in 2015 Picture: ARCHANTFirefighters tackle the blaze in Goldsmith's Mansion in 2015 Picture: ARCHANT

Ms Docksey said the new shop would still stock goods donated by the community but also a new products gift range 'Sourced by Oxfam' and fair trade food. It will also have an online sales department.

The fire, which broke out in the kitchen of a nail bar which was one of a row of shops in Goldsmith's Mansion, was classed by firefighters as one of the biggest and most devastating blazes Suffolk has ever seen.

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It brought Sudbury to a standstill on the night and took 15 crews from across Suffolk and Essex around 48 hours to fully extinguish - and brought the town to a standstill for days.

Oxfam praised the Sudbury community for the way it rallied round the charity after the fire Picture: OXFAMOxfam praised the Sudbury community for the way it rallied round the charity after the fire Picture: OXFAM

Although no-one was killed or seriously injured, firefighters courageously risked their own lives to save a woman trapped in her second-storey flat above the fire as it raged.

Ms Docksey said Sudbury could be proud of the way people rallied round it help Oxfam in the wake of the fire.

"The fire gutted the shop, we lost everything," she said.

"But the people of Sudbury really did us proud. Once we had a temporary shop sorted out they donated an incredible amount of stuff."

The fire completely destroyed the store in Goldsmith's Mansion, which was home to several flats, Oxfam and Celebrities Nails nailbar Picture: OXFAMThe fire completely destroyed the store in Goldsmith's Mansion, which was home to several flats, Oxfam and Celebrities Nails nailbar Picture: OXFAM

Anyone interested in volunteering to work in the new shop should contact store manager Rachel Boyle.

There are vacancies in a number of areas, including customer service, stockroom support and heads of department.

Volunteers must be aged over 14. No experience is necessary and full training is given, including access to retail NVQ diplomas.

For more details email Rachel Boyle

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