New charity shop opens

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Sunflower Charity Shop – a shop to support the work of the Romney Marsh Community Hub – was formally opened by the mayor of Rye, Councillor Rebekah Gilbert, alongside the mayor and mayoress of New Romney, Paul and Janet Thomas, on Wednesday, June 30. Despite the grey skies, the local dignitaries enjoyed a (socially distanced!) tour of the shop and met its manager, Clair, as well as the Romney Marsh Community Hub’s CEO, Jon Wilson, and trustees.

The Sunflower Charity Shop is sited in premises formerly occupied by the Rye Community Shop on Cinque Ports Street, and will offer a wide selection of new and good quality second hand items including bric-a-brac, clothing, footwear, toys, household items, books, jewellery and more. Quality donations – especially ceramics, homeware and young fashion – are welcome.

In the past 12 plus months, the Romney Marsh Community Hub’s focus has been to provide vital support to those required to shield during the first national lockdown, as well as help hundreds of vulnerable people within the wider community throughout the continuing pandemic. Looking to the future, the hub, which is based in New Romney, will be supporting the health and wellbeing for those aged over 50 across the Marsh. As well as social programmes from the centre, the hub will offer exercise and health classes and clinics, and an outreach service for meals. The Sunflower Café will also be open daily at the hub for a variety of hot and cold meals and snacks.

Jon Wilson is CEO of the Romney Marsh Community Hub. He said: “We are really happy to be launching the Sunflower Charity shop in Rye. This prime location gets us into the heart of the community, and we are looking forward to forging new links and benefitting an even wider group of people. We’ve been delighted to update local residents as preparations and refurbishment got underway, and were pleased to welcome our special guests to celebrate its opening.”

Rye mayor Councillor Rebekah Gilbert said: “This empty shop has been transformed for the benefit of our town – and it is great to see the results of many weeks of hard work by the community hub and Sunflower shop team. Recycling and upcycling are fantastic for the environment as well as our wallets – and what better way to encourage this?”

Councillor Gilbert continued: “After the challenges of the past 16 months, it is more important than ever that our communities support each other – I look forward to working closely together and shopping here in the future.”

Image Credits: kt bruce .

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