The Salvation Army’s international leader, General Brian Peddle, opened a new superstore and community hub on Long Causeway in Peterborough city centre on Saturday 13 April.
Run by The Salvation Army’s local church and community centre, the new superstore is the result of a decision to consolidate charity shops on Lincoln Road and Broadway into one bigger site.
Judith Harvey, Community Programme Manager for The Salvation Army in Peterborough, said: “Charity shops have always been an important part of The Salvation Army’s work here in Peterborough. Not only do they raise vital funds to keep our local work going and offer affordable clothing, furniture and household items to people on lower income, they are community spaces, offering compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help for people in need.
“Our new superstore will enable us to develop our services for the community. With a bigger unit that is fully accessible and in a central city centre location, we will be able to reach more people and connect them as appropriate with our existing services, such as free debt advice and befriending. We’re also looking forward to promoting our commitment to sustainable shopping.”
From decorating the new store with reclaimed paint, to using donated fittings from department stores and deciding to only offer paper carrier bags at the tills, it is clear The Salvation Army’s new superstore is committed to reducing waste and limiting its impact on the environment.
Judith added: “On average, charity shops divert 29 tonnes of textiles from landfill each year and we encourage our customers to be creative with pre-loved items through our imaginative window displays and upcycling workshops.”
In addition to buying quality and affordable clothes and furniture, shoppers who attended the opening enjoyed Easter games and colouring for children, a craft workshop using recycled items and music provided by The Salvation Army’s local brass band.
Profits from the superstore and community hub support the local work of The Salvation Army, which includes a community centre at The Salvation Army’s Peterborough Citadel church on Bourges Boulevard. The church and community centre runs a free debt advice service, a day centre for older people, a befriending scheme, a Trussell Trust food bank, a Christmas present appeal and is a host venue for the town’s winter night shelter for people experiencing homelessness.
Judith said: “A huge team has been working behind the scenes to get everything ready, including dedicated staff, around 20 volunteers and members of The Salvation Army church. We’d like to say a special thanks to everyone who has helped us get to this point, especially our friends at John Lewis who have donated a substantial amount of fittings for us to repurpose.”
Judy, 76, volunteers two afternoons each week to serve customers behind the till and help out with jobs such as steaming and sorting donations. After she retired and her grandchildren became teenagers, Judy said she didn’t feel she was needed as much - volunteering has really helped her.
She said: “People come into our shop for various reasons – some people want to buy something and others are lonely. Volunteering with The Salvation Army is a two way thing, I give my time but the customers give me a reason ‘to be’. People need to be needed.”
The Salvation Army’s superstore and community hub is now open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.
The grand opening was the start of a weekend of celebrations to mark the visit of The Salvation Army’s international leaders to Peterborough.
On Saturday evening, General Peddle and his wife, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, took part in a ‘Question Time’ event at The Salvation Army on Bourges Boulevard. The panel was chaired by local Salvation Army church leader Major Gary Chaundy. Other participants included Leader of Peterborough Council Councillor John Holdich, Steve Pettigan from Light Project Peterborough and Chief Executive of Thomas Deacon Education Trust Julie Taylor. Each panellist was given the opportunity to answer questions prepared in advance and submitted by local church members.
Sunday 14 April was Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. The Salvation Army’s international leaders took active roles in Peterborough Citadel’s programme for the day. General Peddle preached in the 10am service and Commissioner Rosalie shared her experience of international ministry.More information about Peterborough Citadel Salvation Army.