Shop celebrates a generous year

Marion Mears, Karen Read, Rosemary Johnston, Jill Gibson, Irene James, Jenny Smith and Laurie Johnston at the charity shop in Rothwell
Marion Mears, Karen Read, Rosemary Johnston, Jill Gibson, Irene James, Jenny Smith and Laurie Johnston at the charity shop in Rothwell

A charity shop which opened its doors for the first time 12 months ago has raised £10,000 in its first year.

Heroes Charity Shop, in Market Square, Rothwell, opened last February with the aim of raising thousands of pounds for national charity Help for Heroes.

The shop was the first independent store in the country dedicated to donating all profits to the armed forces charity.

Laurie Johnston, one of three trustees who set up the shop, said: “The first year was fantastic. We’ve had top quality donations, really good stuff.

“The charity we’ve chosen is very popular at the moment.

“Most charities have head offices and targets to meet but we’re independent.

“That means we’ve got no money going out other than what we give to Help for Heroes, so we can keep our prices very low.

“Ninety per cent of the work is done by volunteers and that is priceless, but this year we’ve taken another paid member of staff on.

“If we could achieve the same amount this year considering the extra staff we would be over the moon.

“We’re working at capacity because it’s a small venue, so I can’t see us trebling our profit, but we’d be very happy to remain at this level in the future.”

Mr Johnston served Queen and country for many years in the Royal Air Force and was in Berlin when the Berlin Wall was being built.

He said the shop has been popular with those who were once in the forces.

He added: “There have been a number of times when I’ve been in there and I’ve got talking to a customer who turns out to be an ex-serviceman.

“We’re in it for the long term rather than just a couple of years.

“We’re all retired, not youngsters, and I would like to think that when we finish the shop will still be there in new hands and carrying on.”

Help for Heroes raises money for people suffering physically or mentally as a result of their dedication to the British armed forces.

The charity shop does not stock Help for Heroes branded goods but accepts almost all donations, other than large items or furniture.