Rugby’s charity Christmas card shop to close it doors

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Rugby’s charity Christmas card shop is disbanding after raising £600,000 over more than 50 years.

The Committee of The Rugby Combined Charities Christmas Card Shop (RCCCCS) had been based in St Andrew’s Church every Christmas since 1989 – but those at the church said the space is now required for other purposes.

Publicist for RCCCCS, Zinnia Allen, said the church had offered to help the group find an alternative site but it was decided to end the project completely.

Zinnia said: “The church did say they would help us find somewhere else but we decided that wasn’t going to happen.”

She said any alternative site, which could have been in the town centre, would have taken too much planning and organisation to be able to open ready for Christmas this year.

When asked if the group would consider restarting the project at any point in the future, Zinnia said the group felt it was time to move on.

She said fewer people are buying cards, adding: “Times have changed a lot since this was started 50 years ago.”

Zinnia wished to thank all those who supported the project over the years.

She said: “The committee would like to thank everybody who has been involved over the last 50 years.

“Thousands of pounds have been raised for charity in that time and many people have given their support in different ways including the press who have given us so much publicity.

“We thank St Andrew’s for hosting the RCCCCS for the last 28 years.”

She added: “So many people have helped over the years it would be impossible to thanks them all.”

The shop raised £16,000 last year –which was then split between 16 charities.

The shop was set up by two Lawrence Sheriff School masters in 1967. The masters oversaw two boys, who raised £400 in the first year by selling Christmas cards in the Parkside garage showrooms in Railway Terrace. The shop’s popularity grew, and with it the yearly amount of money raised for charities. In 1987 the shop moved to Bretherton’s Solicitors on Church Street, before moving to St Andrew’s Church in 1989 - where it would remain until the present. Set up every year in the run-up to Christmas, the shop has a tradition of splitting the money it raises between multiple charities. Last year the shop raised £16,000 for 16 charities, both local and national, including: Myton Hospice, Friends of the Hospital of St Cross, Epilepsy Research UK, Dogs for Good, the RSPCA, Save the Children and Guide Dogs for the Blind.