TWENTY-ONE is a significant milestone in a person’s life – and the same can be said in the history of a successful Buxton charity shop which has raised over a million pounds since opening its doors.
For two decades, the Cancer Research UK shop at 9 Spring Gardens has been turning people’s unwanted clothing, goods and household accessories into cash to help the fight against the killer disease.
Last week, the shop’s dedicated band of staff and volunteers marked 21 years of trading – during which it has sorted through approximately 54,597 bags of donated items and raised a whopping one million pounds.
Shop manager Angela Hill praised the achievement: “We have raised £1,063,703.98 and I think, for an area like Buxton, that is a fantastic amount.
“This has been possible through the generosity of people in the town, and we are really grateful to them. The support in terms of volunteering and donations of stock has been fantastic, too.
“Hopefully, we will continue going forward for another 21 years.”
The two staff members and 20-plus volunteers enjoyed lunch at the Old Hall Hotel last week to celebrate the anniversary, albeit belatedly – the shop actually opened its doors to the public on November 23, 1989.
One person in particular, 82-year-old Buxton resident Hilda Phillips, remembers that day well, as it was the first time she began volunteering at the shop, something she still continues to do today.
“I’d just retired and I was looking for something to do,” she recalls.
“Things haven’t changed a lot over the years, just that we now get a lot more donated.
“It has been great. I love meeting customers and working with the people in the shop.”
The volunteers, who give their time for free, play an invaluable role in the running and upkeep of the shop, which opens seven days a week.
“Each volunteer, for every four hours they give a week, approximately brings in £2,000 to the charity a year,” added Angela.
“And in return they get that sense of fulfilment from volunteering.
“They can see for themselves the money going straight to the charity, and are doing something to help their community.”
The shop currently requires more volunteers to help out at weekends, as well as a volunteer driver to collect bags of donated items.
It is also on the look-out for donations of quality clothes, accessories and household items,
For further details, call 01298 27085 or visit the shop.