Knott End comunity's last minute bid to save charity shop before closure
The people of Knott End have come together in a push to rescue a charity shop from closure at the eleventh hour.
The RSPCA charity shop on Wyre View is expected to close its doors on Saturday, December 4, as bosses say trade has been devastated by restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A group, called Save Our Charity Shop, has been set up by the community in an effort to save it, and has attracted more than 150 members.
Group founder Tanya Marshall, 60, who lives in Knott End, said: "It's not just a charity shop. It's a hub of the community. Knott End has an elderly population and people go in there for a mooch around, to talk to people, for something to do, and invariably they buy something. It's important to our community as well as providing a service.
"Because of the demographic of Knott End, not everybody is able to travel far.
"The shop adds a bit of diversity to the town. It's well used. I just don't buy into the fact that it's Covid-19 alone that has caused the closure. Other charity shops in Blackpool and Cleveleys had undergone the same restrictions, and have not had to close."
The RSPCA still operates its two shops in Blackpool on Highfield Road and Talbot Road, with sales money supporting Longview Animal Centre in Stalmine.
Nonie Anders, another group member, said: "The charity shop is such a good resource, I've been in many times already. It seems a bit of a hub, very friendly and welcoming and of course a great place for donating stuff, or ethically buying useful things. It's the only charity shop around here. It's no good the RSPCA saying there's other ones in Blackpool. I've not been to Blackpool yet. It's about village life, and shopping locally."
Annette Walker said: "The charity shop is a lifeline to our community and will be greatly missed by all we have to try to keep it open and you should have it on the front of the gazette as we have an older generation here that don't like going into Blackpool."
An RSPCA Blackpool and North Lancashire branch spokesman said:
"It is with a heavy heart that we are having to announce the closure of our RSPCA branch charity shop in Knott End.
“The coronavirus pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the branch’s finances and lockdown meant that the shop - like many others - has not been able to keep trading as it would have normally. This means we are now no longer able to keep it running as we would have liked.
“It is with great sadness that we are having to make savings, which will result in the closure of this shop on December 4.
“We are enormously grateful to everyone who has supported the work of the RSPCA Blackpool and North Lancashire branch through the Knott End charity shop, to everyone who has worked there and all who have given up their time volunteering."
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