PACT to open Fakenham shop as soon as possible after fire in Dereham

Animal charity PACT is to bring forward the opening of its new Fakenham shop as it looks to recover money lost through a major fire which gutted its Dereham shop.

A meeting is being held at the Fakenham shop, on Norwich Street, this morning to organise how it can be opened as soon as possible.

Soraya Parnell, manager of the Dereham shop, said: 'We had been doing really well at Dereham and we were bringing in a lot of money. We would have brought in a lot in the lead up to Christmas, so the fire is having a significant impact on the charity.

'We had planned to open the Fakenham shop early next year but we want to get it open as soon as possible now, even if it is not completely ready, so we can start to bring in more money.

'We had planned to move the Dereham shop to a bigger premises on the same street before the fire anyway and we will try to speed things up with that as well. There is a lot of work to be done on that building though, so I believe we won't be able to open there until February.

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'There is a lot of goodwill towards PACT at the moment after the fire and we need to make sure we capitalise on that.

'We are still looking for a manager for the Fakenham shop and volunteers to work there so I'd urge anyone interested to get in touch as soon as possible.'

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The EDP has previously reported how the PACT charity shop in Dereham was devastated by a huge fire on Thursday night. At the height of the blaze, 11 crews from across Norfolk tackled it.

Police have confirmed that the fire is not being treated as a crime. Investigations are continuing into the cause.

Yesterday PACT had its regular table at an antiques and collectors fair at The Brook Hotel in Norwich.

It does this approximately every six weeks and will next do one at the same venue on January 1.

Ms Parnell said: 'The support we've had from people so far has been fantastic and we really need that to continue during this difficult time. I've seen messages on Facebook with people talking about doing skydives and things like that to raise money for us and that's great to see.'

Anyone wanting to volunteer for PACT or help them in any way can ring 01362 820775.

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