|The Venerable Michael Everitt, the Archdeacon of Lancaster (right), cuts the ribbon to declare the shop open assisted by shop manager Faye Smyth and the Vicar of Lancaster, The Revd Chris Newlands.|
The Children’s Society’s shop on Damside Street in Lancaster was among city centre buildings affected by flooding during Storm Desmond over the weekend of 5th - 65h December.
Flood waters entered the shop while it was closed and rose to around two and a half feet high, ruining thousands of pounds worth of stock. It could be months before the building can re-open to the public.
But an agreement was reached with the Church of England for The Children’s Society to open a ‘pop-up’ shop at Lancaster Priory Church.
The shop opened on Monday at the church on Priory Close off Castle Hill. Shop manager Faye Smyth and volunteers were joined for the ceremony by the Vicar of Lancaster, The Revd Chris Newlands and The Venerable Michael Everitt, the Archdeacon of Lancaster, who cut the ribbon to declare the shop open.
Fittingly, the shop occupies the area of St Nicholas’ Chapel, The Priory’s children’s chapel.
It will be open to the public from 10.00am - 4.00pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays while repairs are made to the flood-damaged city centre unit.
The Children’s Society is now appealing for more donations from kind-hearted members of the public as it stocks its unusual new outlet – and anyone interested in volunteering at the shop is also urged to get in touch.
Proceeds from their sale will help to fund the national charity’s vital work fighting child poverty and neglect – including in Lancashire and the Lancaster district, where projects include support for children in and leaving care as well as those at risk of child sexual exploitation and of going missing from home.
Faye said: “We’ve had a great response from the public to the news we were re-opening at The Priory and we’ve already received half a mini-bus full of toys from Morecambe High School which is hugely appreciated.
“But we are still in need of more donations from generous local people and of course, we need people to come up to The Priory to see what the shop has to offer and hopefully find something nice for themselves or a relative or friend.
“The flooding had a terrible impact on many local organisations in Lancaster but for me, the way everyone has rallied together to ensure The Children’s Society can continue to operate here is a positive thing which will benefit vulnerable children and young people.”
“Although not hit as badly as the Cumbria area, parts of Lancashire, including the Lancaster area, have been badly affected by the recent floods," the Venerable Michael Everitt, the Archdeacon of Lancaster, said.
“So I am delighted that Lancaster Priory has been able to support The Children’s Society by finding space to provide a pop-up shop.
“This good news is a great example of the way in which local churches are continuing to support people in their communities in whatever way they can at this difficult time.
“It is also good that the shop is supporting the excellent work done nationwide with vulnerable children and young adults through The Children’s Society.”
If you would like to donate goods to the shop please contact Faye Smyth on 01995 606661 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make arrangements to collect them. You can also contact Faye to discuss volunteering opportunities
The shop is looking for everything from clothes, books and toys to music, jewellery and other household goods.
The Children’s Society was founded by a Sunday school teacher in 1881 and although the two are separate organisations, the charity works in close partnership with the Church of England.