Friday, January 14, 2011

Update on our shops

FINALLY our new shop at 10A Market Street in Newmarket is really close to opening. The shopfitters will be starting work this Monday and should be finished by the 30th of this month. Our projected opening date is 1st February, but it's possible this may slip a little depending on how long it takes us to put all the stock out and do final tidying up.

We will be installing some of the new "gift aid" tills which will make it possible for donors to gift aid the proceeds of sale of their donated items if they are UK tax payers. The way this works is that the donor fills in a short form when they leave donations and the items are bar coded so that their sale can be tracked through the till. When a gift-aided item is sold, we send off a letter to the donor letting them know how much was raised and checking that they still want to give it to the charity. Provided they are happy for us to keep the money, they need do nothing more and we send off a monthly claim to the inland revenue who will give us an amount equal to the tax that the donor paid on an equivalent sum of their normal income. The system also helps us track our stock as it means an automatic record is kept of donations coming in and sales going out. We plan to install the new tills in both the Burleigh Street and the Market Street shops.

If you've been to 61 Burleigh Street recently you'll have noticed that our staff and volunteers worked hard over the Christmas "break" to put in a new "books and media" section in the raised area that was previously used for storage. This has approximately quadrupled the existing shelf space for books, CDs, videos and DVD's while making room in the rest of the sales area for more clothes and other items.

We've done some rationalisation of the shelves at our second hand bookshop at 188 Mill road and it is now staffed entirely by volunteers for half of the week. We would like to say a very big thank-you to the volunteers for agreeing to take on this extra level of responsibility. It is VERY much appreciated and will make it possible to continue with this shop which is much loved, but unfortunately does not have sufficient trade to cover the wages of a full-time manager and still make a profit to be used for the welfare work of the branch.

Please visit our shops to support the volunteers and make all their hard work worthwhile.

We also need donations of anything saleable. We move stock between the shops, so please feel free to take items to whichever is most convenient for you.

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