CHARITIES and community groups have benefited from a shopping centre’s last ever big give-away.
Before work began on demolishing Whiteley Village to make way for a traditional town centre, the centre’s management team cleared out unwanted equipment.
With the stack of equipment they were able to save, they contacted a variety of local groups to see who would be able to put any of it to good use.
The giant clear-out has provided organisations with items ranging from clothing rails, to filing cabinets, office furniture, light fittings, and even fire extinguishers.
Barnardo’s shop in Lee-on-the-Solent received new clothing rails and mannequins.
Worker Amy Frampton said: ‘Our clothing rails were rubbish and were falling apart, so this means a lot to us.
‘It gives us more space and this one is nice and sturdy, it’s a really nice gesture and they’ve been very helpful.’
Others to benefit include Naomi House children’s hospice in Sutton Scotney, The Titchfield Festival Theatre, Brookfield, Lockswood and St John the Baptist primary schools, Marwell Zoo, and The Rowans Hospice at Purbrook.
The Hampshire Autistic Society, based in Whiteley, was also donated computer equipment.
Chief executive Andrew Monaghan said: ‘It will make a real difference to the children and the adults who will be using the computers with support from staff.
‘Thanks to the Whiteley Retail Centre and any other donations will be greatly received and put to good use.’
Demolition work began last month.
First to be built in the £100m project will be a new community hub.
Andrew Rollings, retail director at Whiteley, said: ‘We are very pleased to have been able to organise these donations from former Whiteley stores.
‘We know that all the equipment has gone to good homes and will help these local charities and organisations continue to do their very valuable work in the community.’