BY JAMES TWOMEY
The new shops offer good quality, pre-loved items at fantastic prices, from books and board games to clothes and crockery, which could see it earning an extra revenue of many thousands of pounds per month, with funds raised going to the Sydenham centre for palliative care.
They cut the ribbon on new shops in Sydenham, Streatham and Catford, with a plethora of MPs, mayors and members of the public at each even.
Ellie Reeves MP and Lewisham’s deputy mayor, Cllr Chris Best, kicked off the celebrations in Sydenham with St Christopher’s Hospice staff, volunteers and shoppers as well as a barbershop quartet.
Shaun O’Leary, St Christopher’s joint chief executive said: “St Christopher’s has been proud to serve in this community for the last 50 years.
Thanks to our investment, this shop in Sydenham is now a great shopping environment, as well as a great place to volunteer, hopefully for the next 50 years.”
Just up the road in Catford the Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, and local member of Parliament Janet Daby MP opened another shop with local councillors Louise Krupski and John Muldoon.
Ms Daby MP said: “It’s an absolute privilege and delight to be here; along with Lewisham’s mayor, and our local councillors, to open this new shop in Catford.
“We hope that it’s very successful in bringing in the finances needed to help support people at the end of life right here in Lewisham.
“St Christopher’s undertakes amazing work in the field of palliative care and we are very happy to be here today to support them.”
A ‘Power Hour’ of shopping, with all goods sold at half price, created a buzz in the store and Mayor Damien Egan also brought along a donation of clothes for the shop to sell.
Lambeth Mayor Christopher Wellbelove cut the ribbon with a no doubt exhausted O’Leary to open the shop in Streatham.
Cllr Wellbelove said: “St Christopher’s has been such an important part of our community for the last 50 years, and I hope that this shop is a great success and will also be part of our community for the next 50 years.”
The hospice is seeking volunteers to help out across the shops in South-east London to generate essential income.
Emine Kodak, a St Christopher’s volunteer from Lambeth, said: “As well as an opportunity to practice my language skills, it’s encouraging to know that I’m helping a good cause.
“There is a really good atmosphere in the new shop and everyone is very welcoming.
“If you’re considering volunteering, it’s a great way to meet new people, volunteer in a friendly environment and do something that will help lots of people.”