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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Barrow charity shop takes £20k in first week

THOUSANDS of customers flocked to a new British Heart Foundation shop during its opening week and spent more than £20,000.

Keen bargain-hunters waited from as early as 5.30am on the store’s first day of trading, August 7, and some customers brought sleeping bags.

The Portland Walk shop sells a range of items including TVs, fridges, sofas and beds. All profits go towards the foundation’s fight against heart disease.

Trudy Warburton, BHF area manager, said: “We were expecting a good response from the Barrow public but they have blown us away.

“I thought I was going to have to take someone to A&E, it reminded me of seeing customers at Harrods in the 80s.”

Volunteer Andy Kane, 58, from Arnside Street, Barrow, said: “When I got here at just before 9am the queues were stretching around the block. It didn’t even begin to calm down for about two hours after we opened.

“We had an idea it was going to be busy because in the weeks before we opened people were window shopping and had their eye on things they wanted.”

Volunteer Heather Armstrong, from High Lea Walk, Barrow, was outside the store dressed as a giant heart on the day.

She said: “I was the lucky one because inside the store was packed, you couldn’t move.”

Mrs Armstrong volunteered after the BHF supported her brother during his wait for a heart transplant.

“If they hadn’t supported him, he wouldn’t be here,” she added.

Warehouse supervisor Wayne Briggs, 39, of Harrison Street, Barrow, said: “It was a long day, very tiring but fun as well.”

Mr Kane said estimates suggested the store took around £14,000 on the first day alone. The massive demand has led to staff struggling to keep the store stocked.

“If people do buy new we would ask them to think about us when getting rid of their old TVs, sofas or fridges,” said Mrs Warburton.

“That would be crucial to us to continue our work.”

The shop is seeking volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering or who wants to donate good quality stock is urged to call 0844 848 9614 or visit bhf.org.uk/free. Items can be collected free of charge.

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