THE world’s first pop-up shop where items are bought with acts of kindness opened in Carlisle yesterday (June 22) for a day.

The Kinder Shop, on Paternoster Row, looked like any other High Street store with a range of stylish items – featuring everything from BBQs to garden chairs and hampers.

The only difference was that to pay for items shoppers just needed to show some kindness - by volunteering a suggested number of hours at one of the local charities on offer.

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Customers at the Carlisle shop promised over 200 hours of time to local charities, many of whom had never been involved in volunteering previously – and when added to the Dumfries Kinder pop-up, over 600 hours have been pledged to help out charities.

News and Star: Goodies galore by a patron. Goodies galore by a patron.

The Cumberland Building Society is funding the project as part of its campaign to promote kindness.

Des Moore, chief executive of The Cumberland, said: "We’re changing the purpose of our company, our purpose was to make a positive difference in the lives in the communities, customers, and colleagues.

"Over the last few years, society has evolved, we wanted to change our purpose.

"Our new purpose is to create a banking experience which is kinder to both the people and the planet. which is to make a kinder experience.

“Kindness is not something you’d normally associate with banking, so we’re trying to draw that out of people.

“We believe we can take that idea of kindness from Cumbria and spread it around the UK," he said.

News and Star: Des Moore walking away with Hawkshead Brewary apparel. Des Moore walking away with Hawkshead Brewary apparel.

Charities taking part include the British Heart Foundation, Shelter, Acorn Bank, Oak Tree Animals Charity, Cumbria Deaf Association and West Cumbria Rivers Trust.

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Organiser Helen Statham, director of intro PR, said: “We wanted to do something big and what a better way to be kinder than giving away a lot of amazing things and support a load of charities in the process.”

The first customer was Sara Talebaoui, of Wigton, who just happened to be walking down Paternoster Row as the shop opened.

She walked away with a table and chairs bistro set for her garden, a bird box and some relishes.

But Sara will be ‘paying’ for those goodies by volunteering for 24 hours with Age UK, Anti Racist Cumbria and English Heritage.

"This is my lucky day. I didn’t know it was happening and couldn’t believe it when I was told all these lovely things are free.

News and Star: Teaming together in the name of kindness. Teaming together in the name of kindness.

"I am a bit of a history nerd so working with English Heritage is ideal and I hadn’t heard of Anti-Racist Cumbria so I am really looking forward to helping them.

"This is such a nice idea to give some time back to the community.”

Elizabeth Johnson was also thrilled with her bargain: “It’s a beautiful plant on a lovely stand and for four hours of volunteering for Age UK that’s absolutely nothing,” she said.

The Kinder Shop will next popping up in Kendal on Friday in Finkle Street between 10-4pm.

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