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Openshaw charity shop receives award as tribute to the shop's integration with the Salvation Army Community Church

The Salvation Army Charity Shop & Community Church in Openshaw has been awarded the Community & Social Impact Award at the Charity Retail Association 2018 awards, held in Nottingham this week.

The award, presented by comedian Stuart Goldsmith to Charity Shop manager Hannah Mistry, recognised the merit of demonstrating a close working relationship with The Salvation Army community church. The two have shared a shop unit in Lime Square Shopping Centre since it was specifically refurbished to house both harmoniously, and opened in July 2017.

When being presented with the award, the shop, based on the ground floor of the unit, was commended for its work alongside and integration with the church team, who run a full programme upstairs providing practical and emotional support to those in need. Church leaders, Captains Jon and Jane Bishton, regularly meet victims of human trafficking, domestic abuse, poverty, homelessness and loneliness, and provide emergency food, counselling and advice. The new space has also allowed the church to expand their range of community activities to include a youth club and keep-fit sessions.

Hannah Mistry, Shop Manager, said: “I am so proud and delighted to have been awarded this accolade. It’s a tribute to the hard work that both the shop and church teams put in to working together to benefit each other. It is one thing knowing that the money we are raising helps to support The Salvation Army’s work, but working alongside and providing space for them to further their mission really is a privilege.”

Also mentioned during the awards ceremony was Tom, who approached the Community Church when he was homeless. After volunteering in the shop while he got back on his feet, Tom was offered a permanent role as Sales Assistant.

Hannah continued: “Tom is a prime example of how our integration can help in so many ways. We are really pleased to have Tom as part of our team, and of course it is fantastic to see him doing so well after his struggle.” 

Speaking about the shop, Managing Director of Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd. (SATCoL), Trevor Caffull said: “When we first put the plans together for the Openshaw Shop and Community Church we knew it wasn’t going to be easy – it has required a great deal of hard work and good communication from both sides. But we can see it has paid off and hope it could pave the way for a new breed of charity shops that work side by side with their local Salvation Army churches.

“Openshaw is a really important ‘first’ in the history of SATCoL. The shop and church together have provided a vital community hub in a less affluent city centre area, giving help, hope and support to people in need.”

The award was presented at the Annual Charity Retail Association Awards at Colwick Hall Hotel, Nottingham on Monday 25 June

Shop: Openshaw