A charity shop’s manager has spoken on a surge in trade which he believes is a product of staycations booming in popularity.

The Children’s Society’s shop in Cockermouth has seen its weekly income almost double in the last year, and of all the national charity’s 104 shops, the store on Main Street made the second biggest contribution to its vital work in the last economic year.

It recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and reflecting on the times was manager Joe Murray, who managed both the Cockermouth branch and the Whitehaven branch at different times over the decade.

He said: “10 years is really good going for shops these days, but we are doing really well.  

“Since Covid, more people are taking staycations rather than going abroad and being on the outskirts of the Lake District, we are getting a lot more visitors in town who are popping into the shop. 

“On top of that, people’s budgets for things like clothing are being squeezed by the cost of living and I think they are also a lot more conscious about the downsides of fast fashion.

“So, they are more likely to buy second-hand clothes and everything here is really nicely presented and laid out and we are known for our good quality and reasonable prices.” 

Joe said the shop owes its success to support from the community and from the 16-strong team of volunteers, many of whom gathered to mark the special anniversary with balloons. 

He added: “We’ve got a really supportive team of volunteers and some of them have been here for the entire 10 years.

“My highlight has probably been seeing volunteers who have come here with no retail experience going on to get NVQ qualifications and paid retail jobs.

“It’s really rewarding to see that. 

“I’d like to thank our regular customers and people who donate to us for their amazing support because it is thanks to them and our fabulous volunteers that we are still going strong.” 

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