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SOS Africas Frome Charity Shop Raises a Years School Tuition on Opening Day

17 Nov 2015

In the aftermath of “Nominate an Inmate,” the charity’s most ambitious fundraising event to date, SOS Africa’s weary staff and volunteers embarked upon another exciting fundraising venture; the renovation and opening of a new charity shop on Cheap Street, Frome.

SOS Africa open's new charity shop in Frome

Ever since our “Out of Africa” New Year’s Eve fundraising party at the Cheese and Grain in 2013, the charity has received increasing support from the town’s residents so when a shop became available to let on its most iconic street, we knew that the opportunity was too good to miss.

This decision was vindicated long before the shop opened for business; throughout the renovation process we were overwhelmed by the encouragement of intrigued well-wishers delighted that the shop would be filled after being empty for 6 years.

When we first received the keys, for a number of years it was clear that the shop’s previous tenants had been pigeons; needless to say it required a lot of cleaning before the interior decoration could begin. Over the weeks which followed we removed all of the previous furnishings and installed clothes railings, a new counter and new display units. By the time graphic designer Claudia had added her artistic touch, the old shop had become virtually unrecognisable. We were all delighted with the outcome but knew that the true test would always be the reaction of our new customers.

Before...

The condition of the original shop  The condition of the original shop  The condition of the original shop 

After... 

After the decoration had been completed  After the decoration had been completed  After the decoration had been completed

After a late night of last minute preparations, the opening day was upon us! It was a special moment when, after a customary toast with glasses of bucks fizz, we opened the door for business for the first time. By lunchtime the shop was inundated with excited customers, enjoying a small spending spree which they knew would make a big difference to the lives of the SOS Africa children.

Midway through the day we were also joined by some of our “Nominate an Inmate” fundraisers as we carried out our fundraising competition prize draw. It was a touching moment when one of our youngest customers, picked the winning number.

After the final sale was made, we were to discover that on its opening day, the new shop had generated enough funding to pay for a year’s school tuition for an SOS Africa child! With two charity shops now supporting the SOS Africa cause, just imagine how many more children we can empower throughout the coming months; as our goods are flying off of the shelves much quicker than expected, we would gratefully receive additional donations from the local community to make this possible.

We would like to say a special thank you to the people of Frome for supporting and welcoming our new venture and to Ann, David, Claudia, John and Xavier for their support throughout. 

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