PEOPLE in Hayling Island are to benefit from a new charity shop which will plough every penny raised back into the community.
Members of the Hayling Island Lions Club jumped at the chance to start their own store when a unit on Elm Grove became free after a Cancer Research shop closed.
The organisation spent more than £7,000 refurbishing it, and the Mayor of Havant Ken Smith officially opened the Hayling Lions Community Shop on Thursday.
It is staffed completely by volunteers and has been operating for the past three weeks.
The shop sells everything from clothing to bric-a-brac donated by members of the public. And anything that cannot be sold in the store will be shipped abroad to those in need.
Cherry Elliott, one of the shop’s co-ordinators, said: ‘We want to keep the community spirit alive and support everyone in it and we’ve been really impressed with the reaction we’ve had already.
‘The past few weeks have been a great success and we really hope it continues to grow in the same way.’
In the past the Hayling Island Lions Club has helped children go on school trips that their families were unable to afford, taken elderly people out at Christmas and donated Christmas gifts to a family in need.
Funds raised though the shop will help the organisation expand its work supporting the community, and residents will be asked how they would like the money to be spent.
One of the club’s members, Derek Knight, who came up with the idea, said: ‘It’s going really well so far, and if it continues in the same way then the shop will be a great benefit to the community.
‘We hope it will substantially increase the amount of money we raise each year. Normally we make around £10,000 a year, but this could make as much as £30,000, which would be great because it would mean we could help a lot more people.
‘All the money raised will stay on Hayling and will go to families, individuals, schools, community projects and whoever else might need it.’
The Hayling Lions Community Shop is open daily from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.