Break charity shop celebrates

Tracey GrayStaff and volunteers from the past and present have helped mark the 20th anniversary of a north Norfolk charity shop.Tracey Gray

Staff and volunteers from the past and present have helped mark the 20th anniversary of a north Norfolk charity shop.

Break charity shop in Aylsham celebrated its 20th birthday on Wednesday with a tea party in the town hall, organised by current manageress Liz Jones, who is also chairman of Aylsham Town Council.

She had asked all past volunteers and members of staff to get in touch and come to the special celebration.

The shop, now on Market Place, was originally round the corner in Penfold Street where it was officially opened by BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Wally Webb, who was invited back for the birthday celebrations on Wednesday .

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Rosalyn Sewell, 74, from Aylsham has been volunteering with the shop since it first opened and said her years at the shop had offered her more than just something to fill the time.

She said: 'I joined because I just wanted to be able to do something to help a charitable organisation, but I have made a lot of friendships along the way.

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'One friend I made, Rose Parsons, I had never met before, she was unknown to me, we became friends and even though she now lives in Kent, we have remained friends and keep in touch.'

Betty Wells, 77, from Aylsham was the original manager of the shop when it first opened.

She said: 'I met a lot of very nice people from working in the shop and I have enjoyed all the time I have spent working there and being able to keep in touch with everyone.'

Since 1990, customers buying donated clothing books and bric-a-brac from the Aylsham shop have contributed �1m net to Sheringham-based Break's funds.

That sum has subsidised 1,000 holidays for disabled children and adults who are among the thousands helped by the charity in a variety of ways.

Liz and her team are also planning to mark 2010 by enlarging the shop's book section and re-launching its fancy dress section.

The shop can be contacted on 01263 734054.

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