Charity shop in Midhurst will not close

The Midhurst Macmillan Cancer Support charity shop has had the threat of closure lifted after a new way forward was agreed between the fundraising manager and volunteers.

And not only has the future been secured, but the shop will undergo a major revamp while it is closed over the Christmas period.

Robert Moon, area fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “I’m absolutely delighted we have found a way to keep the shop open for the long term.

“I want to thank all the volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

“The shop will continue to raise funds for the Midhurst Palliative Care Service which provides end-of-life care and support to local people affected by cancer.”

Volunteers at the Midhurst charity shop mounted a campaign to save it after learning a review had been carried out of its financial viability.

During the review it emerged the shop manager’s position was unique to Midhurst and all other shops were run entirely by volunteers.

As a result, Macmillan announced that from next year paid staff would no longer manage shops and the money saved would be directed to generate more funds for people living with cancer.

Midhurst shop manager Dawn Conway saw the writing on the wall and took another post in mid-November.

Spearheading the campaign to save the North Street shop was Anna Luttman-Johnson, who organised emergency meetings and offered to take on the responsibility for the shop until Christmas while a permanent solution could be found to keeping it open.

Mr Moon said more than 20 volunteers and Macmillan staff, including the head of regional fundraising for the southeast, met at the Cowdray Café, Easebourne, on December 8 to discuss a new structure for managing the shop.

This will involve a volunteer coming forward to co-ordinate a rota of fellow volunteers.

“The new structure was met with unanimous support from the group,” said Mr Moon.

The shop will close as usual for the Christmas period on December 23 and will undergo a revamp in the new year, ready for a grand re-opening on Saturday, January 22.

“We are still looking for more volunteers to help out in a number of different ways. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me on 07801 307099,” added Mr Moon.

The shop was founded in l991 by Kirby Phethean and has raised £1.5m over the past 19 years.