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Your Champions 2016: Share Shop nominated as Team of the Year

Northgate Street store does invaluable work supporting those homeless on Chester's streets

Family Law solicitor Kelly Griffiths at the Share Shop in Chester with other volunteers

Charity shop volunteers doing fantastic work to help the homeless as well as refugees have been nominated as the Chester Team of the Year for Your Champions.

Staff at the Share store in Northgate Street donate their own time to support a fantastic cause.

The SHARE acronym stands for Supporting Homeless Assisting Refugees Everywhere.

While the cause was co-founded by Louise Edwards, Monica Hogg and Adam Dandy in Flint in October 2015, their first shop opened in Chester in January.

Adam said: “We set up the charity initially to help refugees in Syria but it soon became clear that there was also a need to help the homeless in Chester.

Opening of the SHARE charity shop in Northgate Street Chester: Chester the Cat, Chris Matheson MP, Adam Dandy, Louise Edwards and others at the opening(Image: Ed Browne)

 

“The charity has made a massive difference to people locally.

“It’s shocking how many homeless people there are in Chester and to have a shop where they can come and get clothing and a hot drink is great.”

Louise said the support they had received from the community had been ‘unbelievable’.

The Share Shop relies on volunteers to help staff the store and provide aid to those in need.

Some of the Share Shop regulars(Image: Sallie Ehlen)
 

 

Some are able to a few days a week, some just a few hours, but all of it is valuable.

Initially the store offered food and clothing to those living on the streets as well as the chance for the public to donate essentials for them.

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It also supplied ‘suspended coffees’, where customers can pay for an extra drink as a gift for someone in need who comes in later.

But the team did not stop there.

The Kindness Wall soon evolved, which is left outside the shop’s front door each night.

The Kindness Wall outside Share Shop on Northgate Street

 

People are invited to hang up clothes or bags of sweets on the wall – complete with a message for the recipient – for those living rough or who find themselves in dire financial straits to help themselves to.

Share also organised an Easter egg appeal, which collected more than 600 donations, and creatively sold bricks towards buying a derelict house which they could transform to a home for those sleeping on the streets.

Now the shop seems almost a mainstay of Northgate Street, offering support to those who need it most. It could not be done without this team of volunteers.

Share is inviting people to donate clothes and messages of kindness for those in need

 

For more information about Share visit www.shareaid.co.uk.

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