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Dec 16

The Charity Chic Series Brings You The Charity Shops of Lyme Regis

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FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY  by Wendy Breckon

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I’ve got an addiction.  Can I share it with you?  Charity shops.

Even writing the words, makes me want to wiz round the room faster than a small child on a red scooter.

Something happens when I catapult myself, bottoms up through the door, clutching the bag that can hold everything.  “I’ve got a theory. Have you got a minute?” Maybe, giant magnets inside the door suck us in, rendering us incapable of rational behaviour.

“Can I help you?” says the volunteer looking down with curiosity at my jellyfish like movements and inane grin. Yes, there is no place I would rather be than rifling through the bits of material and matching buttons in the bin at the back.

Some people dismiss the idea of charity shops with a bit of a sniff, (although less so these days) so why don’t I?  It is probably FAITH that when I turn up at five to five the volunteers will take pity and usher me in. HOPE that the dress I wriggled into yesterday is still there, in my size today and CHARITY; do not forget when you are searching for a bargain that sliding money over the desk is helping those less fortunate.

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Charity shops can test the fragility of personal friendships.  Take for example, “one husband and a leather jacket”.  One morning when browsing in one in Hertfordshire, my other half tried on a brown jacket that he really wanted.  Slight problem. He didn’t have enough cash so put it back on the hanger.  Later on we went for a walk and spotted the very attractive brown jacket moving towards us.  Guess what?  His best mate was wearing it.  But… hey… whatever, they are still good friends.

We have two charity shops in Broad Street, Lyme Regis, Dorset.  Both are in the perfect position for a saunter down to the sea afterwards with the smell of coffee following your path.

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Today I am visiting the Tenovus charity shop.  This is a British charity committed to the control of cancer through quality research  / education counselling and patient care.  It was established in 1943 by ten business men, (hence the ten of us).  Tenovus scientists have been recognised for their pioneering work.  They have a free phone cancer support line (0800 800 100), free counselling and benefits advice.  Check out the official web site – www.tenovus.org.uk.

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It was bitterly cold outside, but beyond the door there was a friendly welcome from Sam Green the manager and her two volunteers Sue and Rosemary.  Vibrant colours, great displays and lots to buy at excellent value.  I needed very little encouragement to take home the papier mache rocking horse that was part of the window display.  Now it rests gently on the ledge beside my stained glass window.

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 So what is my passion? Jugs, all sizes, shapes, chipped not a problem.  Bit of a history, fine with me.  No holes in the bottom, even better.

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Old frames, where I remove the print inside and replace with photographs and a funky surround.  Wallpaper, wrapping paper, shells or fossils.  All you need is a trusty glue gun.

Now let us not forget the magical world of the charity shop bookshelves.  Faded paperbacks, celebrity hardbacks, pop-up or pop-out books. How To Make Sand Candles Or Origami Figures, One Dark Night In Lyme Regis or a Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Cobb.  I’m an avid reader and love them all.

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After a good night’s sleep dreaming of my purchases I awake refreshed.  The thought that the money spent is playing such a vital part to the relevant charity, is never far from my mind.  If you have any spare time, why not consider volunteering, or at the very least, buy some fantastic bargains from them.  Whenever we go through the door we can make a difference to someone’s life.

 

 

 

 

  • Oliver Breckon

    Love this. True that charity shops offer so many surprises- so long may they live on the High Street! I wonder what your next purchase will be? (unless I get there first!) x