Thetford charity shop appeals for volunteers

The Break charity shop in Thetford is looking for more volunteers. Manager Karen Burwin and voluntee

The Break charity shop in Thetford is looking for more volunteers. Manager Karen Burwin and volunteer Kirsten Roberts. - Credit: Archant

A charity store in Thetford which has been hampered by its location outside the town centre is looking to raise its local profile.

The Break charity shop opened in March 2015 in premises next to Tesco Express on Norwich Road.

The Norfolk-based charity works to support vulnerable children, young people and families across East Anglia.

Under the stewardship of manager Karen Burwin, the shop has become well established with six regular volunteers and a steady flow of stock.

However, it wishes to bolster its visitor numbers – and in turn its donations and volunteer base – by making people more aware of its presence outside Thetford's commercial centre.

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Mrs Burwin, who also manages Break shops in Downham Market and March in Cambridgeshire, said increasing awareness of the charity's presence in the town could increase donations and would help with its ongoing volunteer recruiting.

'We just need to make people aware that we are here. Obviously there are a lot of charity shops in the town but with us being out of the town we are missing out.

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'We find that after people have been once, they will come back again. We have regular customers and we are very grateful for their support and the donations they've given us.

'Forging links with the local community is a huge thing for us.'

Mrs Burwin said the shop has six full time volunteers and a number of more occasional staff.

It can offer volunteering placement to those looking for full time employment and to children on the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

'We cannot run the shop without volunteers, they are such an important part. I couldn't run my three shops if I didn't have volunteers,' said Mrs Burwin.

'We're not bothered whether it is for one hour a day or seven hours a day, every hour is useful.

'Break is a good charity, and we do the work we do because we love it, and it is very rewarding.'

Anyone interested in volunteering can pick up an application from the shop.

The shop stocks a wide variety of items from clothes, shoes, accessories and linens to toys, CDs and DVDs, books, small electrical items and good quality bric-a-brac. It is also able to recycle clothing which cannot be sold.

The store has recently started a partnership with Thetford Grammar School, with pupils and staff taking part in a giant bag drop for the charity in June.

To find out more about the Break Thetford shop, visit its Facebook page.

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