Shoppers in Newton Aycliffe flocked to the new Salvation Army charity shop at 31 Beveridge Way on Thursday 10th December as it opened its doors to the public for the first time.
The opening ceremony was a huge success, as The Salvation Army’s Major Amaro Pereira prayed a blessing and cut the ribbon to officially open the new shop before the first wave of eager customers came flooding in.
Area Manager, Anthony Cummings, was delighted to see so many members of the local community gather at the new shop despite the wet and windy weather: “It was fantastic to see and talk to the lovely people of Newton Aycliffe and we are really pleased that so many came to show their support for The Salvation Army. Shoppers were queuing out the doors and we received such positive feedback from the community about the shop and its quality of stock.
Anthony continued: “We’re always looking for extra shop volunteers to join the Newton Aycliffe team, and we’d like to encourage anybody who’s interested to pop in and talk to our friendly staff. There’s a whole range of tasks to get involved with, including merchandising, steaming and hanging clothes, ticketing and coding and we provide training on all aspects of the work. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers, so if you think you can spare any time at all, from a few hours to a few days a week, please do get in touch.
“We’re also keen to encourage donations from the public, whether it’s clothes, shoes, accessories or homewares. We only ask that items are clean and in good condition.”
Profit from the sale of donated clothing contributes to the valuable social welfare work of The Salvation Army, including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, a Family Tracing Service and much, much more. Over the last five years alone the Salvation Army Trading Company has donated over £35 million to the charity.
Customers visiting the new shop will be offered one of its innovative loyalty cards. The free ‘re:ward’ card rewards customers each time they spend £5 in the shop or donate their unwanted items using one of the shop’s reuseable ‘re:bags’.
Each time a customer spends £5, one side of their re:ward card will be stamped, with 10 stamps entitling them to a £5 credit to spend in the shop. On the other side of the card is the reward scheme for donations, which works in conjunction with a re:bag – a reusable black, white and red bag that can be bought at the shop for 99p. Each time a re:bag is brought into the store full of donations, a stamp to the value of £2 will be given.