Rye Community Charity Shop is a charity shop with a difference: it supports not just one charity but as many local community groups as it can.
It is the brainchild of a group of volunteers led by Jackie Pepper, Lorna Hall and Jeff Busbridge, who approached Neighbourhood Enablers with their idea. They wanted a shop that would not only enable local people to buy affordable second-hand clothing and household goods, but would also regenerate profits back into the community by allowing local groups to apply for funding support.
The group then approached ARRCC (Activities, Respite, Rehabilitation, Care Centre) with this idea and a partnership was formed by which ARRCC day-care centre and local community groups would benefit from the profits generated by the Rye Community Charity shop.
The shop opened its doors in April 2013 and has proved a great success. The number of volunteers has increased, they continue to work in partnership with ARRCC and many local retailers and businesses also support the shop and its aims.
This type of charity shop is unique in this area and, after a year’s trading, was in a position to distribute funds. The funding panel met recently to choose between the many applications. A total of £3,470 was awarded – and there will be another round of funding in December.
In this first round of funding the following groups were successful: Rye preschool playgroup, Rye 1st Scouts, Winchelsea Beach Older People’s Project, Tilling Green art group and Tilling Green Community Friends.
On presenting the cheques to representatives of each group, Deputy Mayor of Rye Jonathan Breeds said: “It is amazing how much money the charity shop has raised in a year and it is nice to meet the dedicated volunteers who give their time to these groups.”
Jackie Pepper said: “On behalf of us all at Rye Community Charity shop I would like to say a big thank you very much to everyone for the wonderful support we have been shown throughout our first year. Here’s to the next one!
“I would also like to say a special thank you to Flora Williams, who has always been in the background to help and guide us, and also to Sharron Busbridge for her supportive role. A big thank You, also to Luke Williams for all the toys he kindly donated for our toy window, which was so successful.”
The Rye Community Charity Shop is at 7 Cinque Ports Street, Rye.
Photo: Sharron Busbridge