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Covid-19 offers a silver lining to children’s charity thrift shop

Volunteers Jacqui Williams, left, Juliette Rogers and Suzanne Smith show off new wares at the Bargain Box thrift store, which gives crucial support to the Committee of 25 children’s charity (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A longstanding thrift shop has grown into a popular lifeline for children’s charity the Committee of 25.

Among the group’s goals for this year is boosting the turnover of stock at its Bargain Box store on Serpentine Road in Pembroke.

Jackie MacLellan, the chairwoman of the Committee of 25, said the coronavirus pandemic has hit other helping agencies hard.

But the Committee, which gives financial help to family of children with special or medical needs, appears to have benefited from the increased popularity of second-hand stores during the pandemic.

The golf group TP Hackers is among regular donors, and plans to offer proceeds from its Christmas tournament, which had to be rescheduled to next month.

Ms MacLellan said there had been a downturn in the last year in the numbers of children needing help covering trips overseas for treatment.

The Committee of 25 allocated the funds to aid fellow charities Tomorrow’s Voices, with a donation of iPads; WindReach, with horse riding equipment, and the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy with playground equipment.

Ms MacLellan said: “Because our funding is primarily from the Bargain Box, we actually haven’t been as badly affected by the pandemic.

“We’ve had more customers than in the past, and people are still generously donating clothing and household goods.”

She said the shop was seeking to boost its clientele to help the community and increase opening hours – as well as looking to get more volunteers.

Ms MacLellan asked donors not to bring heavily used items or stained clothing, which cannot be sold – and not to leave donations outside when the shop is closed, as the items get ruined by the weather.

Present hours for the shop on Midsea Lane off Serpentine Road are from 5pm to 7pm on Thursdays, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.

To donate or volunteers, see the website at www.committeeof25.org

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Published February 11, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 10, 2021 at 8:33 pm)

Covid-19 offers a silver lining to children’s charity thrift shop

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