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Children’s charity Barnardo’s is looking forward to its newest shop becoming an important part of the Melksham community.
The Verbena Court store is the first to open in the retail development behind The Water Meadow pub on the eastern side of the town.
The team hope to raise thousands of pounds every year to support UK children who are challenged by poverty, abuse, disability or discrimination.
They are now looking for volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who can help them to make the venture a huge success.
Barnardo’s area business manager Emma King said, “We take great pride in our network of fundraising shops and we look forward to seeing lots of residents coming inside for a closer look.
“We’re sure they will be impressed by what they find. It’s bright, spacious and modern.
“This location has so many advantages. It’s easily accessible from the eastern relief road which means donors won’t get stuck in traffic in the town centre.
“It also has plenty of free parking immediately outside the shop, and should attract lots of interest from people using the nearby convenience store and restaurant when they eventually open too, as well as the primary school.
“And with so many new houses all around, hopefully we’ll be their first choice whenever they want to donate their pre-loved items to a good cause.”
The new shop is managed by Rita Barham together with sales assistant Ayla Lovegrove and is open Monday-Saturday from 9.00am-5.00pm and Sunday from 10.00am-4.00pm.
The team will gratefully receive donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, accessories and bric-a-brac. Donors can also sign up for Gift Aid which means the charity can claim an extra 25p for every £1 raised.
Emma added, “Now that the shop is open, we hope to recruit a fun and friendly team of volunteers who can help with sorting the stock, steaming the clothes, arranging displays and serving customers.
“Volunteering provides valuable retail experience for people who want to add new skills to their CV and can often be an important stepping stone to paid employment – several former volunteers have even gone on to manage their own shops.
“Others enjoy the social aspect and simply like to meet new people and make new friends.
“Whatever their motivation for joining us, now is the perfect time to get involved as everyone is starting at the same time!”
Locally, Barnardo’s is responsible for children’s centres in Corsham and Calne, a nursery in Chippenham and a visitor centre at HMP Erlestoke, as well as a short-breaks service for disabled children and young people across the county.
Last year the charity supported 240,000 children, young people and families through more than 960 services across the UK. Visit www.barnardos.org.uk
Above: area business manager Emma King (centre) with Melksham staff Ayla Lovegrove and Rita Barham outside the new shop