Willow blog

Willow Shop Opens for Business

March 2, 2015

The sun was out and so were the shoppers on Friday 27 February for the grand opening of our very first Willow Shop, in Welwyn Garden City. Willow Co-founders and Life Presidents Bob and Megs Wilson were there to officially open the shop with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and to greet the first customers through the door.

Thanks to our generous supporters, it was stocked to the ceilings with top quality toys, bric-a-brac, books, DVDs, clothes and shoes. Bob was the shop’s first customer, purchasing a book about US President Barack Obama. Other items on sale included a Michael Kors designer handbag, donated by Megs and lots of unopened games and toys including Disney’s Frozen Elsa dolls.

We were delighted to have the Gray family, Tracey, Mick and their son Michael, pop along to help cut the ribbon.  The family live in Welwyn and have become close friends of Willow since 2010 when we arranged a short break for them to Butlins for their daughter Sarah’s Special Day, before she sadly passed away. We are currently arranging 28 year old Michael’s Special Day.

Tracey said, “The shop looks great, Michael’s chosen a lovely daffodil vase to fill with flowers and place on his sisters’ graves. It is a pleasure to help this special charity and we will be popping in regularly to see the team and find a few bargains for ourselves.”

The Welwyn shop is the first of four to open this year, with Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead and Barnet all set for a Willow shop.

Willow Chief Executive, David White said: “We have an ambitious plan for a chain of up to 30 charity shops to open in Hertfordshire and North London over the next five years. Charity retailing is a new and sustainable fundraising strand for us, providing additional funds for increasing the number of Special Days, to help Willow meet its vision of providing a Special Day for every young adult in the UK.”

If you’re local and planning on dropping by, please bring any pre-loved goods with you. We also need volunteers to work in the shop, if you could spare some time please contact Lisa or Victoria at the shop (13 Wigmores South, AL8 6PL) or email [email protected] .

Thanks to the Welwyn and Hatfield Times for all their support and photography (Kevin Lines).