Bullock Fair Charity Shop in Harleston raises �1m

A charity shop which has been raising money for local good causes for more than a decade has hit the �1m mark.

Staff at Bullock Fair Charity Shop in Harleston will be joined by TV weather presenter Julie Reinger and Radio Norfolk presenter Chris Goreham on July 24 to unveil a plaque to commemorate the fundraising milestone.

Managing director Sally Wilkinson runs the shop with directors Brenda Basham and Jane Marsh and a team of about 40 staff and volunteers.

She said: 'It's a fantastic achievement and it's all thanks to our hardworking staff and volunteers, all the generous people who kindly donate things for us to sell and, of course, our customers. We really couldn't have done it without them. We're so grateful.'

The shop's three main charities are the East Anglian Air Ambulance, All Hallows Hospital at Ditchingham and East Anglia's Children's Hospices, although it has helped other local causes.

The shop was established in 1999 by Mrs Wilkinson's father, Alec Garrard, who died just over 18 months ago, as an independent limited company, GWN Trading, which donates all profits to charity.

The aim was to give about �10,000 a year to local charities: �8,150 was donated in the first year, rising to �150,000 in 2011-12 (�85,000 to the air ambulance and �32,500 each to All Hallows and Each).

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Mrs Wilkinson said: 'He bought the shop and hall as a business venture. The charity Break hired the room and when they moved out he decided to continue using it as a charity shop and set up the business just for local good causes. All Hallows was struggling at the time, so we decided to help them... and it's grown from there.'

The shop was extended into the hall, then a second building was added: one (managed by Brenda Basham) sells clothes and bric-a-brac; the other (managed by Jane Marsh, who also deals with the shop's internet, eBay and Amazon sales) sells books, CDs, tapes and small electrical items. There is also an 'Aladdin's Cave' annexe of household items and furniture.

andrew.smith@archant.co.uk

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