Lifetime achievement as young volunteers launch Shewsbury’s first ever Red Cross pop-up shop

A signed Shrewsbury Town football, an Edinburgh Woollen Mill hamper and video games are just some of the prizes on offer when the British Red Cross opens its first ever pop-up shop in Shrewsbury this Saturday.

The store will be in the town’s busy Darwin Centre and will be staffed by 12 young volunteers from across Shropshire.

It’s the culmination of their Summer Of A Lifetime with the British Red Cross in the county and will be aiming to raise a bumper crop of cash for the charity.

Tom Gillam, Project Co-ordinator for the British Red Cross, based in Shrewsbury, said: “We are opening our first ever pop-up shop in Shrewsbury and it will be a great opportunity for people to bag a bargain and win a fabulous prize.

“We have some top quality clothing on offer and much more as well including some hand-made jewellery designed by one of our young volunteers.

“They come from all parts of the county and have done a fantastically with whatever challenge they’ve faced and this is the culmination of that and they have done all the work.

“They have given up their summer to take part in this community project. They have all been very committed and very keen and they have all put in much more than the 30 hours they volunteered to do.

“They have gathered the prizes for the raffle and organised the merchandise which we will have on sale and they will also be here on the day to staff the store.”

Hollie Corcoran-Bradbury, 16, from Cressage, who starts a design course at Shrewsbury College of Art next month, has designed and made the jewellery on sale and she said: “I’ve been making jewellery and selling it on the internet and for charity for about two years now.

“I got involved because I had recently moved here from Oxford and thought it would be fun and a good way to meet people and it’s been great and I’ve made some friends for life.”

Rebecca Robinson, 16, from Reabrook, Shrewsbury, is another of the volunteers and she said: “I’ve really enjoyed it and we’ve done everything from canoeing and climbing waterfalls to doing first aid and we’ve met some wonderful people.

“This Saturday should be very exciting and great experience as well. I’ve been in charge of collecting for the raffle and we’ve had a really great response – everyone in the local shops has rallied round to support us.”

Kim Smith, 16, from Wellington, Telford, is in charge of the shop on Saturday and she said: “I saw the opportunity advertised in the Telford Journal and just decided to give it a go because it seemed to be something worth doing.

“It’s been very busy this week trying to organise everything and get everything right for Saturday and we’ve all been given different tasks to do but everyone has just got stuck in.”

Tom Newman, 17, from Treflach, Oswestry, is an engineering student at Yale College in Wrexham and he said: “I am involved with the Young Carers Project and wanted to do this when I saw it”.

“It really has been the Summer of a Lifetime with the activities we’ve done with team building and teamworking and hopefully I can use the skills I’ve learned to help us raise plenty of money.”

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, who made the unit available to the Red Cross, said: “These young people have given up so much of their time for such a good cause that they deserve to do really well.

“They have come from all over Shropshire and really put a lot of effort in and I’m sure they will do well on Saturday and they’ll enjoy it too – perhaps it will give them a taste for retail as well.”

Tom Gillam added: “The team are making a film of what we’ve done this summer and it will be shown at a celebration event at Cineworld in Shrewsbury on September 17.

“They are 12 really cracking young people who have given so much of their time and hopefully this film will inspire other young people to do the same.”

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