A charity shop in Hailsham which has sent thousands of parcels to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is to close after Prime Minister David Cameron announced troops would soon be leaving the war zone.
The Thank the Forces charity shop is to re-launch as Hailsham Trust charity shop, which aims to provide support services for a wide range of people.
The management of the charity shop at 28/28a North Street is returning to Hailsham Trust, the owners of the building, after being put to fantastic good use by the charity Thank the Forces for the last four years.
Through effective management of what has become a very popular and entirely volunteer-led charity shop,
Thank the Forces has successfully fundraised to support the British Armed Forces and their loved ones back home.
The charity is now sadly closing, after announcement of British troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan.
Hailsham Trust says it would like to continue the service for the benefit of locals, to support the existing very loyal customer base and to enable the existing eight experienced volunteers to continue with it.
A revamp of the building and stock is also planned ready for opening on April 1 2014.
“We are delighted to have another opportunity to serve the local community and we are in the middle of further fundraising to try and make this re-launch all the more fantastic,” said John Cornish, the chair of Hailsham Trust.
Shirley Smith, charity shop volunteer manager, said, “I’m so pleased that Hailsham Trust is keen to keep this charity shop alive; it’s of such great value to the volunteers involved and our loyal customers.
“What’s more, the charity is all about helping individuals in our local community which is great.”
The Hailsham Trust’s Mission is to achieve “community regeneration through integrated voluntary sector action”.
The organisation will aim to provide support services in seven core areas; children and families, young people, black and minority ethnic communities, employability and training, healthy lifestyles, wellbeing and community activities.
The Thank the Forces shop was opened in March 2010 and was the brainchild of the Polegate-based charity Thank The Forces charity, which provides gifts from home to show care for members of Britain’s armed forces abroad.
As well as being a social and information centre, the public were able to buy new and second-hand household goods and clothing and also new fleeces, T-shirts, mugs and flags emblazoned with the Thank the Forces logo.
Each box contained sweets, biscuits, soup, drinks, toiletries and a letter from home.
• For more information on the Hailsham Trust, visit www.hailshamtrust.org.uk