New era in charity retail about to begin in Hawick

The old Store Twenty One in Hawick High Street is to be soon occupied by the charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.
The old Store Twenty One in Hawick High Street is to be soon occupied by the charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.

Hawick will be at the forefront of what is billed as anew direction in charity retailing, it has emerged.

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) is to move into the former Store Twenty One fashion premises in High Street next week.

Fundraisers also aim to create a community hub at the unit to provide somewhere for townsfolk to access the support the charity provides.

CHSS has decided to take on a bigger unit than it would normally choose to enable it to open a community hub beside the shop.

“This represents a new direction in charity retailing,” said a spokesman for the Edinburgh-based charity.

Its retail director, Jay Hogarty, added: “We aim to have a bigger presence on the High Street where local people can have access to more of our services, as well as a great range of affordable fashion for a good cause.

“We are working on plans for the hub so that we can offer Hawick a place that delivers real benefit to the local community.

“We would like to invite people to our opening day next Wednesday, from 11am to 4pm at the shop, to welcome them and to highlight the recruitment opportunities within the shop, as well as exciting volunteering roles.

“Staff from our community services team will also be there to chat about the services we provide for people living with lung disease, heart conditions and the effects of stroke.”

Hundreds of jobs across the UK were lost last summer after the loss-making fashion chain Store Twenty One closed 80 of its shops nationwide as part of a rescue package to prevent it going into administration.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer said: “I am pleased to see the empty Store Twenty One premises on the High Street being brought back to life, and I have no doubt the charity has done its homework in terms of demand. It is important that our High Street provides retail and other services that customers demand if we are to see a much-needed increase in footfall.”

The store will offer collections of clothes to be sold at affordable prices, along with the charity’s best-selling range of Scottish-themed greeting cards and diaries.

Donations of clothes are welcome, with all profits from their sale helping fund services and support for local people living with chest, heart and stroke illnesses.

The charity’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people in Scotland affected by chest, heart and stroke illness, through medical research, influencing public policy, advice and information and support in the community.