As British Red Cross shops on the Isle of Wight reopen, their local retail manager says they benefit the community and the planet, as well as the charity.

The British Red Cross’ 250 shops across England and Wales – including 4 here on the Isle of Wight – have once again opened their doors in the hope of a busy summer trading period.

The charity’s shops, which have been closed since the start of England’s third lockdown on 5th January, are a major source of income for the Red Cross, as well as being the charity’s most visible presence in many of our towns and villages.

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Local retail manager Mike Pennick says they’re a vital community resource and is passionate in the belief that, despite a societal shift to online shopping, bricks and mortar charity shops provide a vital social function. He said:

“Red Cross shops, along with other charity shops across England and Wales, provide important volunteering opportunities which not only enable local people to give something back to their community, but also give volunteers an opportunity for regular social interaction and a strong sense of purpose, which is so important for wellbeing. Our shops all also have regular customers who pop in for a chat or to donate items and really value having a friendly space to connect with on their local high street.”

The message to charity shop supporters, which includes both shoppers and donors, is simple:

“Please do bring us your donations, we’re really grateful for them, and many of our shops will be receiving bags from this Saturday, ahead of reopening. And please do remember to Gift Aid if you’re eligible.’

‘We can’t wait to see all our customers again and as we’ve had a number of donation initiatives during lockdown we’ve got plenty of spring bargains for you to browse including great clothes, paperbacks and CDs, as well as furniture, blankets and rugs for your socially distanced outdoor picnics and barbecues! Every purchase made at one of our shops has huge environmental benefits in terms of reducing, reusing and recycling.”

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British Red Cross shops can be found at:

  • Newport: Red Cross House, Hunnycross Way, Newport PO30 5ZD
  • Ryde: 33 High Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 2HT
  • Shanklin: 17 High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight PO37 6JZ
  • Freshwater: 11 School Green Lane, Freshwater, Isle of Wight PO40 9AJ

Gift Aid bag labels can be downloaded and printed at

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