Chester MP Chris Matheson encouraged coffee lovers in the city to buy their favourite beverage at a new charity shop rather than from the likes of Starbucks, who ‘don’t pay their taxes’.
Cutting the ribbon to open the new SHARE shop on Northgate Street, Mr Matheson’s comment was met with huge applause before the large assembled crowd then did exactly that.
Many also took the opportunity to purchase a ‘suspended coffee’ as a gift for a homeless person.
The idea, which is based on trust and goodwill, enables customers to purchase a coffee for themselves and one other - the coffee is then put on a tab and a homeless person can come and claim it later.
The Flint-based charity SHARE has officially opened its revolutionary new shop at the site of the former Antonina’s ice cream parlour.
The shop, which is run by the charity’s founders and volunteers, offers original and ambitious new schemes to help aid homeless people in Chester and refugees in Syria.
With town crier David Mitchell in attendance and Dee 106.3’s Chester the cat, the shop’s opening attracted a large crowd as the ribbon was cut.
Charity founder Louise Edwards thanked the public and the volunteers who made the shop’s opening possible.
The shop will offer coffee, cakes and clothing to the public as well as taking donations of clothes which it will donate to homeless and financially struggling individuals in Chester.
SHARE will also transport donations to Flint where the items can be shipped off to aid starving refugees.
The ultimate plan for the charity is to use the proceeds from the shop to purchase a derelict house in Chester which it will renovate and open up to homeless people, getting them off the streets.
Louise said: “We at SHARE have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from our local community. SHARE has only been in existence for three months, yet what has been achieved in that short space of time is nothing short of incredible!’
Another of the SHARE’s founders, Adam Dandy, called the shop’s opening ‘unbelievable’.
He said: “There is so much generosity to go round.
“Some people are passionate about the refugees, some more about the homeless, but there is more than enough generosity to go round.’
“I’ve been here two weeks solid getting the shop ready.”
The charity is looking for volunteers to help out with a 24-hour ‘packathon’ at their Flint warehouse on Friday, January 22 from noon. If you would like to get involved, visit www.shareaid.co.uk