Charity shops can offer a host of hidden treasures

They are warrens of discovery, packed with hidden gems, designer goods and authentic treasures.

Charity shops tick several boxes for conscientious shoppers – they offer value for money, raise millions for good causes every year and help to recycle.

By shopping locally in charity stores, people can find originals, one-offs and authentic vintage clothes.

Richard Lee, head of retail at the Big C shop in Westlegate said: 'We offer fantastic value and friendly service. We try to offer a personal service.

'People can find something which is different to what is available in other shops. High street shops tend to have the same things. We can offer things at a fraction of the price.

'In the Norwich shop we offer a free alterations service on bridal and evening wear.'

Some charity shops sell designer shoes, bags and clothes.

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Dawn Cowie, manager of the PDSA charity shop on Queens Road said: 'We get lots of one-off items here, we are very unique. If people had the time to look around they would be surprised by what is on offer. There are still people who don't know about us, we need support.

'We have had brand names and designer bags donated before, so people can pick up some great bargains. We have even had a Christian Dior men's suit.'

Charity shops also help to raise millions of pounds every year to help people in need. Sharon Hall, assistant manager of the British Heart Foundation shop on London Street said: 'People just love charity shops, they love having a rummage around. You can find anything here.'Our shops allow people to create their own style.

'People should definitely consider shopping in charity shops this Christmas – we have new things, some are still in their boxes and we have clothes donated with their labels still on. We also get vintage and retro stuff from the 50s and 60s.'

Mrs Hall said the shop often received designer donations and had recently sold a Karen Millen handbag.

• Do you have a charity story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email

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