The mayor of Northampton, councillor Tony Ansell, cut the ribbon to unveil the shop today.

Hope Centre opens charity shop to give work experience to service users

The Hope Centre has today opened a new charity shop in Northampton's main shopping street, which is set to stay open for the next six weeks.

It's been a busy two-week turnaround for staff, volunteers and local businesses who have been working hard to get the former Co-op Bank, in Abington Street, ready for the Hope Centre to use as a charity shop for the next six weeks. The Hope Centre is open for people in precarious housing situations to get affordable food and housing advice, as well as employment and substance misuse support. Today (Friday), the mayor of Northampton, Tony Ansell, cut the ribbon to officially open the store, and he welcomed in the first customer with a bag full of books, which he wanted to donate. The shop plays host to women's, men's and children's clothing, bric-a-brac, DVDs, books, jewellery and children's toys and is open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, with all proceeds going to the Hope Centre. Louise Danielczuk, fundraising manager there, said: "We have wanted to set up a shop for a very long time to raise money for the Hope Centre. This shop came along and was in the perfect place so it means we can raise money to plough back into the Hope Centre." The charity shop is also a way of giving their service users, who are interested in retail, a chance to get some vital work experience, and they will be working in the shop. "It's more than just a charity shop," Louise added. "It's here to provide training for service users as well." The Hope Centre is really keen for other volunteers to help and, if you would like to, you can call the Hope Centre on 0845 519 9371 or email Louise directly at louise@northamptonhopecentre.org.uk. Mayor, Tony Ansell, added: "I think it's wonderful we have such a great charity shop on our high street. The Hope Centre gets so many clothes, it's so nice that so many of them can go to this shop and raise money for such a wonderful cause." Donations can be made at the store between the hours of 10am and 4pm - there is one a loading bay in front of the store (opposite Poundworld). Or, donations can be dropped off at The Hope Centre at Oasis House.

The shop is just temporary at the moment but the Hope Centre are keen to carry it on if it's successful.
The shop is just temporary at the moment but the Hope Centre are keen to carry it on if it's successful.
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The charity shop has a room for children's clothes, toys and footwear.
The charity shop has a room for children's clothes, toys and footwear.
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DVDs are 1 and books for children are 50p.
DVDs are 1 and books for children are 50p.
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Children's shoes are priced at 2.
Children's shoes are priced at 2.
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