Vandals add to fears for charity shop’s future

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The owner of a charity shop in Horncastle has urged the community to rally round and support it - or it could have to close.

Julie-Ann Clark (47) launched ‘Thrifty’ in North Street last May.

She has helped numerous individuals and organisations.

But, Julie has to cover all the costs of running the shop herself and is not even paying herself a wage. All her volunteers work for free.

To add to Julie’s ongoing concerns, one of her shop windows was smashed by vandals just after Christmas.

The shop is a ‘listed’ building and again, Julie will have to dig deep into her own pockets to fund repairs that could run into hundreds of pounds.

Julie said: “We are a community charity and 100% of what we make goes back into the community.

“Unlike most of the bigger charities, I have to cover all the costs myself.

“We get great support from people donating items but like a lot of shops , we are struggling.

“The damage to the window is something I really could have done without.

“Fortunately, nothing was taken but there’s the cost of repairing it. It’s another thing to worry about.

“I have a fantastic landlord but the lease is up in May and unless things pick up, I will have to think seriously about closing.

“I don’t want to (close) because we help a lot of people but we need the community to support us. We need more people to come into the shop.”

Fund-raising efforts include:

•Weekly collections for Echo - an East Lindsey charity for the homeless

•Helping victims of flooding

•Helping schools and nurseries

•Donations to a family whose home and possessions were damaged by a fire

Julie launched ‘Thrifty’ after working in the charity sector for many years,

At the time, she said: “I have seen first hand the power of helping others and giving back to the community.

“Thrifting means I take donations, find the items new homes and donate any profits locally.”

Some of the groups Julie opted to support initially included the Urban Foundations Outreach Project, Tiny Tots Pre School, Horncastle Primary School and Doris Banham Dog Rescue.

She added: “I live on my own, I got divorced eight years ago, I am a single mum who has gone through heartbreak and tragedy.

“I have suffered from anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“I want to help others who help me. I want to help those who are vulnerable or homeless.”