Expanding retail network

As a locally registered and funded charity, Age UK Northamptonshire must ensure that it is visible in the community, as well as raising much-needed funding to continue its important work. Shops tick both these boxes, offering an opportunity to interact with clients and supporters, as well as helping to generate income.

The newest addition to the Age UK Northamptonshire shop network opened on Monday 9th March at 14 Alexandra Terrace in Kingsthorpe. This is the eighth Age UK Northamptonshire shop in the county which is now open Monday to Saturday from 9:00am until 4.30pm.

The move to open a new store could be considered a bold one, especially with big retail brands bowing out of the High Street However, the UK has seen a rise in charity/vintage shopping as more is learned about the environmental impact of the fashion industry. It is reported that every week, the UK sends 11 million items of clothing to landfill. Charity shops like the new store in Kingsthorpe offer consumers a range of products, from clothes, shoes and accessories to books, toys, homeware and games at affordable prices and without the negative environmental impact.

Chief Executive Chris Duff explains: “We’re really excited to be adding to our network of shops. Not only do funds raised help us support 15,000 older people across Northamptonshire every year, the shops encourage people to think about their choices as consumers which benefits the community and the environment.”

“Setting up a new shop inevitably requires extra volunteers, something the charity is always actively recruiting for. Staff, volunteers and customers have responded positively to the new shop which has a bright and airy feel and a great location.

“Yvette Prior, Shops Co-ordinator, added: “Kingsthorpe is a fantastic location because footfall here is so strong. We’re also situated near other great charity shops which makes the area a destination for thoughtful consumers.”

The charity has seen an increased interest in its stores, helped in part by the charity’s new retail focussed Instagram account

@AgeUKNorthantsRetail. Local bloggers and influencers are visiting the countywide shops more and more, which is helping to spread the message to a new generation of consumers. The shops have also seen interest from Northampton College and University of Northampton students in terms of work experience and inclusion in project work.

“We want to feel like an integral part of the community, not just in terms of the work we do directly supporting older people, but by working in collaboration with other charities, businesses, educators and the community at large,” says Yvette.

At the time of writing, all Age UK Northamptonshire shops are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will reopen when the government deems it safe to do so. At which time, the grand opening of the new shop will be announced. Please keep an eye on social media for details. Follow Age UK Northants on Facebook @AgeUKNorthamptonshire to find out more.

How to get involved

Volunteer

The charity is always looking for volunteers, not just in its shops but in lots of roles across the county. Email Alicia Cubitt to find out how your organisation could help on alicia.cubitt@ageuknorthants.org.uk.

Donate

Items such as clothes, books, music, toys and homeware are all needed. Donate to any of the eight county-wide stores and don’t forget to ask about gift aid.

Become a trustee

Use your business expertise to help shape the future of Age UK Northamptonshire.

Email sharon.hepplescott@ageuknorthants.org.uk for more information.

Fundraise

Organise a team fundraising event. Sponsored sporting events are a popular choice, or even try something a bit more daring.

Get social

Follow, like and share on Twitter @AgeUKNorthants, Facebook and Instagram @AgeUKNorthamptonshire.