Oxfam shop closes for the last time

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A CHARITY shop in Arbroath which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds during its 25-year existence closed for the last time on Saturday afternoon.

The Oxfam Shop at 149 High Street has fallen victim to the recession, car boot sales and a well known Internet website on which items are bought and sold.

The manageress, Lynda Stuart, who has been in charge for the last 11 years, said she was sad and disappointed by the decision but added that she completely understands why it had to be taken.

It is believed that Oxfam lease their shop from a private landlord and the charity explained it had decided not to renew the lease because of rising costs.

Lynda told the Herald: It is a blow, but I understand why they are doing it. It would be defeating the purpose of raising money for charity when the costs are so high and we have to think of the bigger picture. Unless something else comes up, I will be looking for a job.”

Lynda explained that she did not have a lot of full-time volunteers left. She went on: “I have a couple of girls who are on placement but I have only got about four volunteers. Several have left, mainly because of ill health. However, one of the ladies has been here 18 years.

“Many of the volunteers have been involved with us for years and you couldn’t get more dedicated people. It is a big loss to them too but, like me, they understand where this has come from. We do have shops in Forfar and Montrose but the travelling would make it difficult for some of them to volunteer there.”

A spokeswoman for Oxfam said: “We are really fortunate to have had the support of a dedicated group of volunteers, staff and customers during our time in Arbroath.

“We are hugely grateful and would like to say a big thank you to all of those people who have made a valuable contribution to overcoming global poverty and suffering by supporting the shop. We hope that people in and around Arbroath who have supported us will continue to support Oxfam through our shops in Forfar and Montrose.”