DOGS Trust is celebrating after the Rayleigh shop in Essex became the charity’s first to make one million pounds.
The shop opened in August 2014 and is just a few days away from celebrating its seventh birthday (15 August).
The milestone is an enormous achievement for the shop’s dedicated staff and volunteers, many of whom have been there since that very first day.
Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust Chief Executive, said:
“We’re so grateful to the amazing staff and volunteers at Rayleigh charity shop, and of course all of their wonderful customers, who have made this possible.
“Two of the managers started with us that very first day as volunteers, and many of our ten volunteers have been with us since then too.
“Everyone involved with the shop is tremendously loyal and dedicated to the work of Dogs Trust and this commitment is making a direct impact on dog’s lives.”
The whole team got together for a special certificate presentation by Owen, who attended with his Dogs Trust rescue dog, Lexi.
Claudine Lapsky, Dogs Trust’s London and South-East Retail Area Manager, said:
“It means a lot for Owen and Lexi to come to the shop and help us to celebrate this milestone.
“It’s been a joy to see this group of people work together to make the shop the success it’s become. I remember signing some of them up as volunteers in the completely empty shop in 2014!
“The local community support us so brilliantly with donations, and just shopping with us, and we really want to take this opportunity to say thank you to them too.”
She added: “This was one of the trial stores when we reopened after lockdown last year and they helped us find our way through and demonstrated the safe ways of working that we are really proud of.”
Sam Lynch, Dogs Trust Rayleigh Charity Shop Manager, who started out as a volunteer, said:
“I’ve lived in Rayleigh all my life so when I heard that Dogs Trust was opening a shop, and looking for volunteers, I really wanted to get involved.
“I love fashion and I love dogs so it was the dream place to work for me and raise money for a cause we all love.
“Eventually I became Assistant Manager and then Manager. There have been so many highlights, we won the Best Dressed Window from the town council a couple of years ago and now, of course, this.”
For more information on our charity shops, our new working measures and trading hours, please visit: www.dogstrust.org.uk/shopping/charityshops