THE future of a much-loved charity shop in Uttoxeter is hanging in the balance as the charity looks for alternative premises. The search is on by Newlife Charity, which has a charity shop in Uttoxeter's High Street, for new premises as their lease on the current venue has come to an end. One shopper, who wished not to be named, told the Times & Echo that she has written to the trustees of the charity asking them to reconsider their apparent decision to close the store, after she has heard it is closing on March 31.
She said: “Everyone who goes in there is being told by staff that it is closing on March 31.
“People are horrified that it is set to close as it’s always packed in there.
“Everyone that I talk to about it closing has said we must do something about this.
“Too many of our shops and facilities have left Uttoxeter without them knowing that Uttoxeter people are upset.”
The Newlife Charity, which is a charity for disabled children based in Cannock, helps disabled and terminally ill children across the UK.
When contacted by the Times & Echo, a spokesman for New Life said they were “unable to confirm” if the current shop at 9 High Street would be closing on March 31, or not.
Instead, they issued the following statement attributed to Newlife’s CEO, Sheila Brown, OBE, who said: “The lease on Newlife’s Uttoxeter store has come to an end.
“Over the last few months we have been actively searching for new premises in and around the town and will continue the search over the coming weeks.
“We will keep our valued staff and customers informed.”
Uttoxeter Town Mayor Alison Trenery said that it would “be a sad loss for the town” if the Newlife charity shop was to close.
She confirmed that Uttoxeter Town Council had been trying to help the charity find new premises.
She said: “Our understanding is that their lease for the current shop is about to run out, and our Town Hall staff have suggested to the charity that they contact the owners of the former Peacocks and also the Co-op stores in the Maltings, either of which we feel would be suitable for the charity.
“There are not many larger shops available on the High Street.”
Mrs Trenery added: “If the Newlife shop goes it will be a sad loss to the town. It’s a very well-used shop which also raises money for a good cause.
“It is an extremely popular shop, particularly with young people.
“We haven’t really got enough choice of clothing shops in Uttoxeter as it is. We could do with some more really.”
The shopper, who lives in Uttoxeter, is now asking for others to join her in the campaign to keep the Newlife charity shop in town.
She said: “Uttoxeter ladies want to continue to support this charity by buying clothes from the store.
“There are alternative empty shops in town, if they can’t stay in the existing one.
“Co-op and Peacocks have gone from our town, let’s make sure the trustees know we want Newlife shop to stay.
“Let’s tell the trustees of this charity we are upset and see if we can change the decision, by emailing, Facebooking, Twittering, Instagraming to the trustees to let them know that Uttoxeter really wants to keep the store.”
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