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Welfare Rights Charity Shop Official Opening

Oct 20, 2011

A local charity officially opened larger premises this week thanks to Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership’s Community Pride Fund.

A £5,000 grant from DGHP allowed Dumfries Welfare Rights to relocate to 52 Lincluden Road after the overwhelming generosity of the public meant their previous shop became too small.

Anne Coupland, a tenant and District Management Committee member of DGHP, cut the ribbon on Tuesday (October 18) to mark the official opening. 

The shop, which is run by local volunteers, is at the heart of the community and provides an essential service that was not previously available in the area. The shop is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm with the help of an excellent group of around 8 volunteers. If more volunteers get involved there is a possibility the shop may open on Saturdays in the future.

Carrying out the opening ceremony, Anne said: “This has been a long time overdue. This shop and Welfare Rights returning to Lincluden is a great thing and I am sure the local people will support it.

“In this day and age when everything is so expensive it is good to have somewhere like this selling good quality items at a low price.

“I have already donated myself and after being here today I am also going to look at volunteering as well to help them out. It is such a worthwhile service and one which we, as a DMC of DGHP, felt was so worthy of the money.

“Many of our tenants live close to the shop and I am sure they will find it of great benefit.”

Prices in the shop are kept as low as possible with many items, including baby clothes, some of which costs only 10pence and adult paperbacks at 50pence. Other items include three-piece suites, chairs, beds, cots and even a set of alloy wheels.

Welfare Rights will now also operate a weekly surgery out of the shop – on Wednesdays from 10am until 1pm.

Bill McCormack, Manager of Welfare Rights, said: “We are so grateful for this money from DGHP’s Community Pride Fund. It has enabled us to open these new premises which, in turn, will give us a base once again in the heart of Lincluden.

“The surgery will be here every Wednesday between 10am and 1pm and if anyone would like to speak to us they just need to turn up. There is no need to make an appointment.

“In terms of the public response to the charity shop, it has just been overwhelming. People have been so kind and generous in supporting us and we hope that continues.”

In addition, all income generated from the shop will go directly back to the charity. This will allow them to continue offering support and advice to local people on benefit, housing, homelessness and employment issues.

One user of both the Welfare Rights service and the charity shop, who attended the opening, was Charlene. She said: “The shop is really good and is very well priced with a lot on offer. Everything is really clean and tidy as well, which makes a difference.

“I use the shop for a lot of things for my children, particularly toys, because for all the time they have them it is best to save money on them when everything is so expensive. And when they have finished with the toys, I bring them back so they are being recycled again.”

The Community Pride Fund was first established to encourage tenants and others to work together to improve the local communities around Dumfries and Galloway.

Picture shows: Cutting the ribbon, DGHP’s Nithsdale District Management Committee member, Anne Coupland; Yvonne McCormack, from the charity shop, and Bill McCormack, Manager of Welfare Rights.

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