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Fundraiser’s first year as manager of Melksham charity shop

The manager of a Melksham charity shop has thanked the local community for their generous support.

The Barnardo’s store on Verbena Court, behind the Water Meadow restaurant, opened in spring 2016 but faced a challenging start due to staff shortages and irregular opening hours.

Helen West was appointed as the new manager in spring 2017 and is now approaching her first year of being in charge.

Today, her store is open seven days a week and has proved popular with donors, shoppers and volunteers.

Helen said, “It was very quiet when I first started but now we’re doing really well, and that’s due to the generous support of the local community.

“Later this year we hope to reach the major milestone of receiving 10,000 bags of donations, and we’ve registered hundreds of donors for Gift Aid which means we can reclaim the tax on their gifts and generate even more money for the charity.

“We also have a fantastic team of lovely volunteers, from teenagers to people in their 70s, who are always friendly and full of fun.”

The charity now offers a wider range of ‘new goods’ such as flowers, cards and sweets, plus regular special offers including ‘buy one, get one free’ on most DVDs, and free stickers with purchases of Teletubby merchandise.

Helen added, “We have a really good relationship with the neighbouring shops and we’ve got to know lots of our regular customers, who often stop for a chat.

“We hope even more people will pop in and say ‘hello’, and help us to raise much-needed funds to support the charity’s work with some of the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.”

The Barnardo’s store is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-5pm and on Sundays from 10am-4pm.

The team always welcome donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, bric-a-brac and accessories, as well as offers of help from potential volunteers.

Call (01225) 436806.

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