Town charity shop celebrates its 25th year

TOAST: Volunteers Joan Jones and Sandra Ince outside the hospice shop in Gainsborough Street, Sudbury.
TOAST: Volunteers Joan Jones and Sandra Ince outside the hospice shop in Gainsborough Street, Sudbury.

St Nicholas Hospice Care celebrated 25 years in Sudbury this week.

The hospice, which also marks its 30th anniversary this year, opened a charity shop in the town in 1989.

Store manager Jane Gaunt said: “I think it was the first charity shop in Sudbury. There was a massive queue on the first day. It took £600 in the first hour.”

Business is still going strong at the shop in Gainsborough Street, which is able to count an army of volunteers among its ranks. It has an annual net income of more than £60,000.

“It is a great amount when you consider the shop is not very big and there are a lot more charity shops now,” said Mrs Gaunt.

The store has 54 helpers, who together have accrued 337 years of service.

Pauline Jordan, who has been a volunteer since the start, said: “I love working here. I get such a tremendous amount out of it. We have such good fun.”

While the queues were not quite out of the door on Monday, the shop was still busy

“We’re not resting on our laurels,” said Mrs Gaunt. “We still need donations.”

With one eye on the future, Mrs Gaunt said she had high hopes for the store.

“We are very happy here and would like to continue for the next 25 years if we can,” she added.