Bags of Memory, Chester’s newest Christmas charity shop, opened at the city’s Forum Shopping Centre last week.

The store is dedicated to raising funds for research into the link between deafness and dementia.

The Deafness Support Network (DSN), the Chester-based charity behind the project, will channel funds raised at the charity shop over the next six weeks directly to the research project being delivered by DSN in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

Speaking at the store’s opening, DSN’s fundraising manager, Sarah Halliwell, said: “Studies have shown that one in six of the population is affected by hearing loss which can have a profound impact on their lives.

“People with mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia – this risk increases significantly in those with moderate to severe hearing loss.

“We are working with the University of Sheffield to investigate the possible link and we want to raise funds to further develop this crucial research area. In fact, one of our research team, PHD student Jenna Littlejohn is here at the shop today to help us launch Bags of Memory.”

The new store features vintage gifts and homeware, scarves and antiques, all of which have been donated to the charity.

Sarah said: “DSN are really excited by Bags of Memory, we have some fantastic vintage gifts and accessories. Many of the donations are completely unique – someone even donated a genuine vintage Mulberry bag!

“But we urgently need more donations of bags, scarves and accessories to help us raise as much as possible – we would love people to drop their donations off at the shop. We are here for six weeks so there’s plenty of time to donate or bag yourself a unique Christmas gift.

“I also want to say a big thank you to Hedge & Co of Beeston who helped us with the design of our shop and to The Curiosity Cave who are making a significant donation through the sale of their antiquities and furniture.”

Forum Shopping Centre manager Mr Lawrence Allen said: “We are delighted to welcome Bags of Memory to the Forum and wish it great success in the run up to Christmas.”

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