Regular readers will know that I drag my soapbox out every now and then about Charity Shops and their uselessness (I don’t think that’s a real word) for families and for those living with poverty right now.
These shops could be a valuable resource in the community, instead they just take up room that could be given to food banks or second-hand clothing dealers who recognise that to encourage “punters” the deal must be a two way “win-win”. Yet again, I trawled a line of Charity Shops to see if the CEOs of these organisations had made any improvements to the ethos and practice but, the ethos still seems to be that of charge ridiculous prices just marginally below what they would cost new and make no concessions to those on the poverty line. There are a few exceptions: RELATE in London Road, Morden in Surrey is the best example of a charity shop that exudes charity to its visitors: it seems to me that if the shopper clearly can’t afford something, the staff help them to find something similar that they can afford or to help the shopper in anyway they can.
All RELATE charity shop staff should be sent there for training because this staff group really “get it”: they get that the customer needs their help as well as those who the charity raises money for – the essential truism that appears to be lost on all of the other charity shops I have visited.
If there was an award (and I might just instigate one) for usefulness to the communities they operate within, then the staff of RELATE, 37 London Road, Morden Town Centre, Surrey SM4 5HT, Tel 0208 648 3323 would be the first winners! So if you based in South London and need furniture or clothing at reasonable prices and want to meet cheery helpful staff then this is it.