Norwich gift shop raises £5,000 for charity from plastic bag charge

Aaron Roberts - owner of Gifted in Castle Mall

Aaron Roberts - owner of Gifted in Castle Mall - Credit: Archant

An independent business in the city is helping those in need whilst also doing their bit for the planet.

Gifted in Castle Mall has raised £5,000 for a local charity by asking for donations for plastic bags instead of keeping the cash for themselves.

They decided to launch the scheme in late 2017 as they wanted to address the plastic problem and reach out in the community.

The money raised goes to the Willow Tree Garden, based in Belton, which helps disabled children and adults and the charity is 'over the moon' with the contribution.

Aaron Roberts, aged 34 from Bradwell, said: 'We thought that if customers still want the bags how can we make some good from it.

'It is a voluntary donation but the reaction from customers has been really positive.

'In the media there has been a lot about large organisations having to charge so we thought about how we could be part of changing consumer habits.

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'People are really generous and give handfuls of change and sometimes people don't have any but come back days later with five quid as they like the cause.'

The scheme runs across all Gifted stores in the region, which are located in King's Lynn, Cambridge and Maidstone, and each chooses a local charity.

Mr Roberts first opened the Norwich branch in 2011 and the shop sells a range of film and TV merchandise, American sweets and novelty gifts.