Our Chief Executive Sarah Jane Williamson has opened the charity’s new Reuse and Recycle Store on Brunel Road in Newton Abbot, which will help us deal with the tons of pre-loved goods donated by the public every year.
Shoppers and supporters popped along to see for themselves the giant 7,995 sq.ft space and Sanctuary rescue pony Joker was there to greet people as they entered.
The new Reuse and Recycle Store, in the Brunel Court trading estate, includes a giant warehouse and will revolutionise the way we sort and distribute the donations that flood in every week – with a staggering 95,319 separate items handed in over the last six months.
Chief Executive Sarah Jane cut the ribbon on the new store, telling supporters: “The Reuse and Recycle Store is going to allow us to do even more in terms of reaching the public and helping them connect to our work.”
It will be open seven days a week and we’re planning to take on a further five full time staff, including new delivery drivers, allowing us to take in larger pre-loved goods like second-hand furniture.
We are also hoping to attract at least 30 more volunteers to sort through everything from donated clothes to jigsaw puzzles, books to jewellery – and now bigger items, including sofas, armchairs, beds and tables.
There will also be the opportunity to donate and buy second-hand tack, including brow bands, saddles and bits.
Customer Rosie Hill, from Bovey Tracey, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s really light and airy and everything is so well laid out. I love it. I only popped in to have a quick look but I’ve lingered today.”
Paul Redfern, from Kingsteignton, said he loved to visit charity shops, but often poor wheelchair access made it difficult, adding: “This place is ideal for me. Everything is really well spaced out. I’ll definitely be coming again.”
Retail Operations Manager Dawn Green said the Reuse and Recycle Store, and the giant warehouse next door, is right next to the centre of Newton Abbot, allowing the charity to deal with larger stock and house clearances.
She added: “This is a huge step for The Mare and Foal Sanctuary. So many items are donated to us every day and sorting through everything can take up a lot of time and often requires space.
“Before today we stored a lot of the stock in an old barn at one of our stables. It wasn’t ideal and because it was in a rural location it was quite difficult to get to – which made taking in larger items almost impossible.
“Now, members of the public will be able to donate items, including furniture, right on site. And with so much space we will be able to sort through the donated stock much more quickly, making sure our six shops always have great pre-loved goods on offer.”