Top of the shops says Sidmouth manager

PUBLISHED: 13:51 13 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:25 18 June 2010

VOLUNTEERS at Sidmouth s Save the Children charity shop have been proudly showing off their Church Street premises after a TV programme featured one of the charity s worst shops in the UK.

VOLUNTEERS at Sidmouth's Save the Children charity shop have been proudly showing off their Church Street premises after a TV programme featured one of the charity's worst shops in the UK.

In her BBC Two series, Mary Queen of Shops, retail guru Mary Portas tries to revitalise the Orpington branch of Save the Children's shops.

Lucy Neil, manager at the Sidmouth shop, said: "Lots of people have been coming in and saying how lovely our shop is. It has had a facelift over the past few months. We even have fresh flowers to try to make it less like a charity shop."

Lucy has 52 volunteers on the books, but would like more helpers, both in the shop and behind the scenes.

"We need volunteers working in unpacking and ironing. We iron and steam everything," she said.

Anything not up to scratch is recycled.

"At Save the Children, Sidmouth, we are keen to encourage volunteers of all ages and we are very happy to be flexible about the time people can give.

"If someone can only spare an hour then that is fantastic. Every bit will help!" she said.

Lucy praised her "incredible" team of volunteers.

"They are a wonderful group of people, who are extremely committed and dedicated to raising money for Save the Children.

"All the people who volunteer contribute to the happy environment in which we work."

Monica Jones, a volunteer for 12 years, said: "Sidmouth is a very different shop from Orpington. It is by the sea, so we get different customers, including summer visitors, and it is well supported."

The shop is currently running a Donate a Bag campaign to coincide with the TV programme, with Save the Children asking people to donate a bag of quality items during June.

"We need stock as well as volunteers," said Lucy, who only wants clean, nearly new clothes and books included in the bags.

Princess Anne, the charity's patron, visited the Sidmouth store some years ago and signed its visitors book.

If you would like to be a volunteer call the shop on (01395) 579926.


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