East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) has been recorded as the second-fastest growing retailer in a national survey of 71 charities.
The latest edition of the annual Charity Shops Survey ‘saw a slight fall in the number of charity shops – the first such drop since 2003’, with charities such as Oxfam GB and Age UK reporting a series of closures.
EACH bucked that trend, though, adding seven shops to its retail portfolio in 2017/18.
That rise was reflected in its income growth, with EACH recording the second-largest increase of 21.8%. While those stats might go hand in hand, EACH has also taken care to make sure its shops show a good profit margin and, with 33.2% of its income going straight towards care and support for children, young people and families, it ranks firmly in the top 15 for profitability.
EACH remains ambitious and has opened its first shop of 2019 this week.
Ian Nicolson, EACH Head of Retail and Trading, said:
“Our shops generated an impressive profit of over £1.1 million last year and are becoming an ever more important source of funding for the vital work EACH does offering care to hundreds of children with life-threatening conditions across the region, and support to their families.
“We know some people feel high streets are becoming saturated with charity shops at the moment, so we’re always thinking about what we can do to offer something different. We now have a range of outlets, including boutique, furniture and clearance shops, and always try to offer something special, like the children’s zone in Dovercourt. Our shops also run their own events and initiatives – such as the kid’s book club in North Walsham that has over 330 members – to engage their communities. We hope the fact people’s money goes towards a local service resonates, too, and I think the impressive results we’ve had over the last year prove that’s the case.
“I’d like to say thank you to anyone and everyone who has supported an EACH shop, and please continue supporting us because we definitely plan to continue our programme of shop openings this year.”
The Charity Shops Survey is produced by Civil Society and sponsored by the Charity Retail Association. Ranking regions by their number of charity shops, the East of England came in fourth, with 329 being run by 20 different organisations.
EACH has four shops in north Essex, in Clacton-on-Sea, Dovercourt, Halstead and Stanway, 13 in Suffolk, in Bungay, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Framlingham, Hadleigh, Halesworth, Ipswich, where there are two, Leiston, Lowestoft, Saxmundham, Stowmarket and Sudbury, 14 in Norfolk, in Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, Fakenham, Holt, Long Stratton, North Walsham, Norwich, where there are four, Poringland, Swaffham and Wymondham, and five in Cambridgeshire, in Cambridge, Cherry Hinton, Ely, Soham and Whittlesey. A second Cambridge shop will open on Thursday, 11 April.
EACH welcomes donations of clean and good-quality goods at all of its shops and will also collect furniture free of charge if the owner is unable to transport it themselves. More information is available on 01842 821620.
To put into context the difference just a small donation to a shop can make to the vital work EACH does, here are some examples of what a donation could pay for:
- A top, skirt or pair of trousers worth £5 could pay for art supplies for a session of art therapy
- A tea set worth £11 could fund an hour of specialist play tailored to a child’s individual needs
- A nice wedding hat or jacket worth £19 could pay for an hour of vital physiotherapy
- An item of good-quality furniture or prom dress worth £24 could fund an hour with a psychologist to help guide and support families going through, likely, the toughest period of their lives
For more information about EACH, go to www.each.org.uk, and to offer your services as a shop volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org.