Volunteers ‘devastated’ as Worthing shop closes after 40 years

Team at Save the Children, Worthing
Team at Save the Children, Worthing

THE team at Save The Children in Worthing are ‘disappointed’ to see the charity shop close just days before Christmas after a 40 year presence in the town.

Shirley Hare has been volunteering for Save The Children since it first opened its doors in Worthing 40 years ago.

She said: “We’re all devastated. It’s a wonderful cause and I have enjoyed working there.

“But the landlord has put the rent up and headquarters is not willing to pay anymore.”

Shop leader Helen King has been with the shop since it moved to its current location in Montague Street in 2000.

She said: “I’m just disappointed altogether. We’re the biggest town in West Sussex and we won’t have a presence here anymore.

“I’m very sad about all the hard work everyone has put in.

“Our customers are very upset and several are writing to the head office because they are so disappointed. They are more like friends and they chat to you. I just find it very very sad.”

There are ten volunteers as Save The Children, May Laurie has been working at the shop for 15 years, she said she feels ‘terrible’ about the shop closing on December 23.

Save the Children’s interim general manager of retail and head of store preparations confirmed that there will not be another Save the Children retail shop opening in Worthing, but a party will be thrown next year to thank all its volunteers for their hard work over the years.

She said: “It is with great sadness that we are closing our shop in Worthing. Our shops exist to raise money for children, but sadly rising rental costs mean that it was no longer doing so.

“Save the Children greatly values its volunteers and is open and transparent about shop performance with them.

“The key team members were made aware of the situation more than two months in advance of the closure and we are holding a thank you event with all volunteers in January to celebrate their great achievement raising money to improve children’s lives in the UK and across the world.

“There are no current plans to open another shop in Worthing. However, all volunteers will have the opportunity to meet our regional fundraising manager so they can continue to support Save the Children if they wish.”

There is currently a sale at the Montague Street shop.

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