The Salvation Army celebrates 200th shop opening in Caterham

published on 27 Oct 2014

Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL) celebrated the landmark launch of its 200th shop in Caterham, Surrey (on 23 October, 2014). In just four years, the organisation has doubled the number of charity shops across the UK, raising vital funds for the national work of The Salvation Army.

Members of the community gathered at 10am to witness the traditional shop opening ceremony, which started with The Salvation Army’s International Staff Band playing a number of songs to welcoming applause. Speeches were made by SATCoL’s managing director, Trevor Caffull, and Commissioner Clive Adams, leader of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and at 10.30am, the shop was officially declared open by the its new manager, Sally Whitlow.

The shop immediately drew a crowd of shoppers when the doors opened for business and Sally and her team of staff and volunteers were on hand to help all those who walked in. Also among those greeting new shoppers was Territorial Envoy Don Hall, who heads up The Salvation Army’s Caterham corps (church). Local Caterham resident, Roza Surdyn, was the first customer, winning a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates.

Sally commented: “It was such an enjoyable opening day, made all the more special by the crowd of people who came down to give us a warm welcome to Caterham. We were busy from opening to closing; it goes to show just how much people are in support of The Salvation Army.”

Commissioner Clive Adams said: “I want to congratulate the whole team at SATCoL for this milestone. The shops serve not only to provide affordable clothing and raise income for the work we carry out across the country helping those in need, but they are a pillar for us in local communities too; people can come in knowing they will find a friendly face and a helping hand if they need it.”

Having opened its first shop in 1993 and its 100th in New Malden in 2010, in only four years, SATCoL has grown its network by another 100 charity shops.

The 200th shop is in the heart of Caterham, at 51 Croydon Road. It will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and will stock a variety of clothes and homewares. The team welcomes all donations from the public as well as applications to volunteer.

Customers visiting the new shop will be offered one of SATCoL’s innovative loyalty cards. The free ‘re:ward’ card rewards customers each time they spend £5 in the shop or donate their unwanted items using one of the shop’s reuseable ‘re:bags’. Each time a customer spends £5, one side of their re:ward card will be stamped, with 10 stamps entitling them to a £5 credit to spend in the shop. On the other side of the card is the reward scheme for donations, which works in conjunction with a re:bag – a reusable black, white and red bag that can be bought at the shop for 99p. Each time a re:bag is brought into the store full of donations, a stamp to the value of £2 will be given.

Profit SATCoL receives through the support of the British public for its shops and recycling schemes is donated to The Salvation Army’s work with people who are vulnerable and in need across the UK, including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales and a Family Tracing Service. Over the last five years alone SATCoL has donated over £39.5 million to The Salvation Army.

For more information on SATCoL charity shops visit here