Rugby charity shop that has saved 1,000 tonnes from landfill marks ten years by entering Rugby in Bloom

Staff members Mick Entwistle and Julie Judge stand next to the centrepiece of the Rugby in Bloom display, which features the poetry of Rupert Brooke.
Staff members Mick Entwistle and Julie Judge stand next to the centrepiece of the Rugby in Bloom display, which features the poetry of Rupert Brooke.

A charity shop in Rugby which has saved over 1,000 tonnes of items from landfill is marking its tenth year by entering Rugby in Bloom.

Staff and volunteers at Age UK’s Hunters Lane reuse shop marked ten years on Saturday, August 18.

Bunting and flowers abound.

Bunting and flowers abound.

Mick Entwistle, who has worked at the shop since its opening, said: “It was scary when we first opened because we didn’t know how it was going to work – at the time we were one of four sites like this in the country.

“But we received a very good reaction from the public. We still have people coming into the shop who came here in the first few weeks we were open.”

The shop sells anything from furniture, glassware, CDs and bicycles. Items which, in many cases, would otherwise be destined for landfill are donated to be sold,

It was originally built as a machinery store – meaning it has a tin roof and a large door at the back.

The clock stopped at 11.11.

The clock stopped at 11.11.

Mr Entwistle said: “It’s not your usual charity shop. It’s a rough-and-tumble job that’s sometimes a bit mucky.

“It gets hot in the summer because of the tin roof and it’s freezing in the winter – again because of the tin roof.

“But there’s a massive amount of satisfaction in this. We’ve managed to save well over 1,000 tonnes of items from going into landfill.”

Mr Entwistle said the shop is massively helpful for Rugbeians on a low income.

He said residents often furnish their homes with items found in the shop. “We even managed to sort out a kitchen for someone once,” he added.

European workers staying in Rugby often use the shop extensively for furniture.

Mr Entwistle said: “If they’re not yet sure if they want to stay in Rugby permanently then why would they spend hundreds on a dining set when they can get one here for a fraction of that?”

The shop is also playing its part in supporting development in Africa.

Mr Entwistle said he sees many people from Africa visiting the shop to buy items to ship home and sell.

“I think it’s brilliant,” said Mr Entwistle. “You hear about people in some African countries who have to walk miles to get to the market - so being able to buy an affordable bicycle is a massive thing for them.

“In its own way, the shop is helping to grow the world economy.”

To celebrate ten years in business, the shop is entering the Rugby in Bloom competition.

Its entry into the competition has seen the yard decorated with potted plants and, in line with Rugby in Bloom’s centenary of the First World War theme,

Union Flag bunting, ammunition crates, a clock stopped at 11.11 (to mark Armistice Day) and a centrepiece with Rugby’s poet Rupert Brooke.

Mr Entwistle said the shop is always seeking volunteers, but he warned the work can sometimes be difficult and tiring. To learn more, call 01788 567484 or visit bit.ly/2vZ88YC.