Sheringham church opens children’s charity shop
ThreadBear is a new charity shop in Sheringham, run by the town’s Lighthouse Community Church, and offering pre-loved children’s clothes, toys and equipment at affordable prices. Tony Rothe reports.
The purpose of the shop is to provide a low-cost source of clothing, toys, games, baby equipment etc for the community, especially at a time when the cost of living is surging. Any profits will help to provide much-needed funds for the other community activities of the church.
Sue Savory, founder and manager of ThreadBear said, “A few months ago our operations team met to discuss further ways we could reach out and provide support for families as well as raising much needed funds. In order to focus on families we wanted a project to uniquely join many of the other services we offer here at Lighthouse Community Church. That’s where ’ThreadBear’ preloved stuff for kids was born.”
The project was offered the use of a newly built room attached to the Lighthouse auditorium which was not being fully used, so plans were made to transform the room into the very first Lighthouse shop.
Sue continues, “We would never have got off the ground without our amazing volunteers who gave up their very valuable time, energy, and creativity to transform the premises and turn our dreams into reality, especially David, Tony, Sue, Jenny, Becky, Sally, Connor and Stuart. A huge thank you for their input and expertise in getting us started.”
Once the “bear” bones of the shop were in place, a team of volunteers were recruited to help in the day to day running of the shop, and an appeal went out for donations, which brought in an impressive quantity of high quality stock. A Zenith recycling bin was set up at the front of Lighthouse where anyone from the community can deposit clean clothing, fabrics, shoes, handbags etc.
“What happened after that was truly wonderful” said Sue. “Our community responded and are still responding in outstanding ways. The sheer volume and quality of stock that we now have to sell is nothing short of a Biblical miracle! We give heartfelt thanks to all those who have donated and continue to donate. We now have a shop filled to the brim with wonderful preloved, excellent quality items for children from birth to teens, including baby equipment. We even have a single bed!”
ThreadBear normally has the same opening hours as Lighthouse Café and Soft Play: 10.30am to 2.30pm Tuesday to Friday each week. The shop is also open during the “Family Fridays” where free meals and activities are provided for families from 5pm to 7pm, currently on alternate Fridays. A popular time for customers is at the conclusion of the toddler group “Little Ones” which runs from 9.30am every Thursday in term time. Sue explained that many of the mums come to this and then stay for coffee and visit the shop, thus providing much needed space for them to form new friendships and for their little ones to have a wonderful morning of fun. Younger customers even receive a popular ThreadBear sticker when they visit.
Sue has a willing team of enthusiastic volunteers, which includes Roz Treadway, Tina Hicks, Sue Robinson, Margaret Bickford, Susan Tucker, Jenny Chakanyuka, Sue Ross, Becky Gabriel, Sally Frere- Smith, Sue Cook, and David Bickford, without whom, she says, the scheme just wouldn’t happen!
She concluded “At the very heart of this project is our desire to serve and support our community, and join up some of the dots between the services we provide here at Lighthouse. So why not give us visit? You can make a whole morning of it with the option of having a coffee or light lunch while your little ones play in our free soft play area.”
Visit the ThreadBear Facebook page, and find them on Instagram.
The photos are courtesy of Gareth Gabriel.
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Tony Rothe, 06/01/2023