More than 130 people came to see the opening of a new Salvation Army charity shop on Tenison Road on Monday 4 February.
Following the relocation of the church and charity’s ‘Sally Ann’s’ store from premises on Mill Road, the new shop was officially opened by Deputy Mayor of Cambridge Councillor Gerri Bird. The opening ceremony was accompanied by music from Cambridge Salvation Army’s brass band.
Sally Ann’s on Tenison Road features a main shop selling clothing, toys and household items and an expansive barn selling furniture, musical instruments and LPs. The charity shop is open Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5pm and Saturday 10am - 1pm.
Major Martin Cordner, who leads The Salvation Army in Cambridge along with his wife Major Leanne, said: “Our charity shop is a really important part of our work here in Cambridge. Not only does it raise vital funds and offer affordable clothing and household items, it is a community hub, offering compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help for people in need.
“The shop used to be based next to our church and community centre on Tenison Road before it moved to Mill Road some thirty years ago, so this is an exciting day for us - the shop has come home and all the services we offer the community are now on the same site. With the shop located right next to our church and community centre we can offer a greater range of services in one location.”
The Salvation Army’s church and community centre on the corner of Mill Road and Tenison Road runs a parent and toddler group, social activities including knitting, dance and indoor carpet bowls, weekly breakfasts, lunch clubs and coffee mornings, as well as faith-based activities and Sunday worship. It also provides emergency food parcels and support for people in crisis including those who are homeless and is currently hosting the council’s Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) night shelter in partnership with Jimmy’s Cambridge.
Shop manager Charmaine Wilson leads a team of three employees and more than 30 volunteers.
One of the volunteers, Margaret (73), has been volunteering at Sally Ann’s for more than 35 years. Alongside working in housekeeping for University of Cambridge student accommodation, Margaret has enjoyed working in numerous charity shops.
Margaret describes The Salvation Army has ‘helpful’ and ‘caring’ towards both staff and customers. She remembers one day when she talked to a customer for half an hour. She says: “As he was going he thanked me and said ‘you’re the first person I’ve spoken to for a month.’”
Margaret adds: “Working here has opened my eyes to how other people live.”
Today, Margaret volunteers alongside her husband, Geoffrey, every Monday. After four hours sorting and pricing bric-a-brac, she attends The Salvation Army’s lunch club and enjoys a two course meal and a cup of tea for £5. Margaret says: “It’s very good value.”
It is clear Margaret gets a lot out of volunteering with The Salvation Army. She says: “I just love it.”
At the opening of the new shop, she said: “I am ever so excited.”
For more information about Cambridge Salvation Army, please visit camsa.org.uk or find ‘Salvation Army Cambridge’ on Facebook.