A national charity has opened a community shop in Crawley aiming to bring hope to deprived families and help young people develop new skills.
Bishop Richard Moth and Crawley mayor Raj Sharma were at the shop in Broadfield on Thursday (July 7) for the official opening ceremony at the new St Vincent de Paul Society branch in Pelham Place.
Area manager Caroline Dalrymple said: “We are quite stunned he could fit us to his busy diary. We are thrilled.
“We feel blessed that he can supports is and give us a blessing for the future of the shop.”
The charity has 41 shops nationwide, mainly in the North and they have been seeking out potential bases in the South. They aim to be more than just a charity shop.
Elsewhere in the region Caroline manages they have had people work in joinery, electrical PAT testing and she is in liaison with Crawley Central Sussex College to help young people here.
Caroline explained: “We want to provide young people with work experience and have the chance to be part of a team.
“A lot of people are quite isolated, especially now with social media, and we want to be there to become involved in the community and to become friends to people in the community.
“They can come and learn budgeting, customer care, window dressing. There’s so much involved in charity retail. People can give as little as a hour a week and fit it around their lives.
“If you need help with your CV, we’re here. There is no limit to what we could do here.
“If you have a flat and you have nothing in it, we can help. The basis of the charity is to help people by any means in poverty, homeless or having no money.
Elizabeth Palmer, CEO of the charity, added: “Our community shops provide reasonably priced goods to people, as well as serving as a point of contact for people in need, and raising money to support our work.
“We are excited to see this shop opening as we expand our services into new areas.”
The shop sells items including toys, clothes, electrical items, furniture and bric-a-brac and all donations are gratefully received. For more information about the St Vincent de Paul Society go to svp.org.uk