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Fantastic first year for Barnardo’s in Melksham

Fundraisers are celebrating the success of a Melksham charity shop which has received thousands of bags of donations.

Barnardo’s opened a new store on Verbena Court, behind the Water Meadow restaurant on the eastern edge of the town, last February.

Since then the charity has received more than 3,500 bags of clothing, accessories, homeware, books, toys and games.

Barnardo’s has also been supported by a group of hardworking volunteers who contributed 900 hours to help with sorting the stock and serving the customers.

The team celebrated their success by cutting a specially-decorated cake on Wednesday February 8th.

Rita Barham, Branch Retail Manager said, “We wanted to arrange a special thank-you for everyone who has worked so hard during our first year.

“We have an amazing team of 12 volunteers aged from their 20s to their 70s who offer so much of their own time each week. Every hour is sincerely appreciated.

“We were the first store to open on this new development so it was relatively quiet in the beginning, but we’ve definitely seen an increase in footfall as more businesses have joined us and it will be even busier when all of the units are occupied.

“The local community have been so supportive. Aside from the usual gifts which can be found in most charity shops, we’ve also received several expensive Mulberry handbags and other designer donations.

“The most wonderful part of my role is that every day there is a new surprise – the biggest donation was a huge punch-bag with gloves!

“We will gratefully receive all good-quality items which can be re-sold to support the charity’s work with the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.”

The Melksham store is open Monday to Saturday from 9am-5.30pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm.

There are still vacancies for potential volunteers to join. Call (01225) 436806.

Barnardo’s also manages stores in Chippenham, Devizes, Westbury, Warminster, Amesbury and Swindon. Visit www. barnardos.org. uk