What's happening?

New charity shops in Shropshire enjoy strong opening
21 Feb 2017
by Simon Alton

A trio of new charity shops in Shropshire are celebrating an “outstanding” first few months with bosses saying they have been overwhelmed by the public support.

The shops are run by The Rural Charity – a new offshoot of the Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society – in Shrewsbury, Wem and Oswestry.

The charity took on shops which were previously run by the Shropshire branch of Relate before it ran into financial difficulties at the end of last year.

The Rural Charity shops opened just before Christmas, and society director, Ian Bebbington, said they had seen a very strong start.

“Running charity shops is a completely new venture for us and we have been absolutely delighted with our first few months of trading,” he said.

“It has been an outstanding start and we are looking forward to helping the shops establish themselves as long-term fixtures of Shropshire’s high streets.

“We have been particularly pleased with the response from people donating goods for the shops.

“Each shop is selling predominantly furniture and household items and the quality of goods being donated has been really high.

“We are getting lots of positive comments from customers and the sales are reflecting that.

“The shops are being run by the same area manager who looked after the Relate furniture stores, and that experience has really helped us hit the ground running.”

All of the proceeds from each shop goes to the Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society charity, which exists to support farmers and rural communities in the area.

The society organises the annual Shropshire County Show and runs the West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury, which is where people can donate goods as well as at the shops themselves.

Mr Bebbington said the aim was to provide grants to people in rural areas who needed retraining or financial support, along with being able to help the society’s supported schemes such as the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and the National Young Farmer’s organisation.

The shops are in Whitchurch Road in Shrewsbury, High Street in Wem and Albion Hill in Oswestry.
For more information, search The Rural Charity on Facebook or visit www.westmidshowground.com