Homeless charity Crisis have opened their first London shop on Mare Street in Hackney. Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people that helps people rebuild their lives through housing, health, education and employment services.
The new shop will offer training and employment opportunities for homeless people who want to work in the retail industry while also raising funds to support the charity.
Having helped Crisis acquire the shop unit, Stirling Ackroyd have spoken to shop manager Kate Maule about the new opening.
“We picked Mare Street in Hackney because it is at the centre of a vibrant and diverse community. It is easy for our members (clients) to access the shop from our centre near Old Spitalfields Market and there are many Crisis supporters living and working in the area.
There are not many charity shops in Hackney so we saw it as an opportunity to develop a loyal customer base by offering great products and good value for money.
At Crisis we seek to involve homeless people, particularly our members in everything that we do. The shop provides a great opportunity for us to showcase our collective talents; our team have built the shop fittings, created the display props, sourced and prepared the stock and are now serving the customers. Retail experience and skills are useful for those members who are interested in securing employment in the sector.”
Crisis plans to open 10 shops across the UK over the next two years which will allow the charity to grow its presence and improve its employment offer for homeless people.
“Opening the shops will create a new income stream for Crisis and enable members to gain valuable skills and experience from running a business. The shop also gives Crisis the opportunity to build new links with supporters in the community of Hackney. We would appreciate any donations of goods that we could sell in the shop; clothes, small household items, books, music etc.”