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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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New charity shop in Carlisle has bags of style

They have got bags of style – and now some of it’s going up for sale in aid of charity.

Handbag charity shop photo
Jane Thompson, vice chairwoman of trustees and Louise McGough, day services manager, with some of the handbags

Jane Thompson and Louise McGough are putting the final touches to a new charity shop in Carlisle – and it will be well-stocked with 250 bags up for grabs.

Jane, a volunteer and vice chairwoman of the management committee of The Croftlands Trust, said she and some friends had first held a handbag sale in aid of the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and the idea had snowballed from there.

“One of my friends gave every bag she had bar one and she had 70,” she said.

“We collected quite a lot of bags in aid of the disaster – including some vintage and retro – and we sold them all except one or two.”

The sale, which raised £1,200 for the Haiti fund, led to people donating as many bags as they were buying, Jane added.

“They donated the bags they brought with them and I held an auction at Christmas for the Lisa Bertoletti fund and got even more donated.”

Jane also helped out with a house clearance and discovered “a lot of nice bags”.

They, and the others, now have pride of place among the stock for the new Croftlands Trust shop, on Botchergate, which opens next week.

A couple of designer bags – Prada and Gucci – will be sold separately on eBay.

“There are a lot of lovely bags – and about 300 coats,” Jane said.

“It’s a normal charity shop so it’s the usual stock – and prices. That’s why we’re selling the designer bags on eBay as they’ll make more money there.”

Louise McGough, day opportunities manager with the trust, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues, said the shop would also sell wood products and handmade cards fashioned by service users at their Lancaster Street joinery.

The users will also help out in the shop, she said.

“It’s about them gaining employment skills and reducing the stigma about mental health,” she added.

“We want to give people real work experience.”

She said the joinery business was not-for-profit and offered everything from bespoke garden furniture to smaller wood items. Information about it will be available in the shop, which opens next Thursday.

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