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Charity shop halts tales of gloom

PUBLISHED: 18:28 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

A Harleston charity shop has revealed how it is going from strength to strength after it emerged that others are facing desperate times.

Some charities in East Anglia are battling to stay afloat against donation-devouring national organisations and a flood of cheap imports.

A Harleston charity shop has revealed how it is going from strength to strength after it emerged that others are facing desperate times.

Some charities in East Anglia are battling to stay afloat against donation-devouring national organisations and a flood of cheap imports.

But one local charity shop bucking the trend is Bullock Fair Charity Shop in Harleston which sees hundreds of customers through its doors every week.

Last year the charity raised more than £100,000 for local causes such as the East Anglian Air Ambulance and East Anglia's Children's Hospices (Each) and says it hopes to better that total this year.

Managing director Sally Wilkinson put the success of the shop down to the hard work of its staff and volunteers. She also said it was fortunate to receive a wealth of quality donations from across Norfolk, Suffolk and beyond.

“We are very lucky and don't seem to be experiencing the sorts of problems that other charity shops in larger places like Norwich seem to be facing,” she said.

“People are very generous and donations come in from everywhere. We take everything apart from electrical items and big furniture and we do like things to be of a high quality.

“We must get hundreds of people coming through the doors every week. We have even had people come into see us when they are on holiday in Norfolk and then come back to us the next time they visit.

“We have been going for about nine years and so a lot of people know about the shop and we get people of all ages coming in. The children love to play with the toys which sell from about 20p.”

Mrs Wilkinson added: “We are successful because of our staff and volunteers. They are very loyal and we couldn't cope without them. The staff support each other and there is a real community feel. I do feel for these charities who say they are struggling, but I feel their situation is very different from ours.”

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