Charity shop in ‘dull’ Leyland town centre fights back

Manager Peter Thurlow at the Emmaus charity shop in East Street

Manager Peter Thurlow at the Emmaus charity shop in East Street

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After 30 per cent of Leyland shoppers claimed there are too many charity shops in the high street, one of the town’s newest additions is fighting back.

The manager of Emmaus in East Street, off Hough Lane, is urging shoppers to see the value that stores such as his can add to the town.

“Each chairty shop needs to think outside of the box like we have, so that we can start to change the stigma associated with them”

Peter Thurlow, manager of Leyland’s Emmaus charity shop

The shop, which has been open for a year, is full of vintage finds and ‘shabby chic’ items.

‘Run-of-the-mill’ donations such as clothes and toys are sent to the organisation’s Preston base, leaving the Leyland store to boast a trove of unusual furniture and memorabilia.

Manager Peter Thurlow said: “I appreciate that there are a lot of charity shops in Leyland, quite a few people do say that, which is why we’re trying to do something a bit different.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing for a town to have a few charity shops.

“But each one needs to think outside of the box like we have, so that we can start to change the stigma associated with charity shops.

“In Emmaus, it doesn’t hit you in the face that it’s a charity shop when you walk in. It’s right that each shop should be individual.”

He added: “We’ve created a niche in Leyland, and we’re trying to get the word out that this isn’t an ordinary charity shop.

“We sell furniture, which is really popular because people enjoy doing up furniture themselves, to create that shabby-chic look, so it’s win-win for the customer and the shop.

“I go to charity shops in Preston on my days off to get ideas, but to be honest, a lot of them all look the same.

“We really want the community to get on board with what we’re doing here.”

Nationally, Emmaus is on a mission to end homelessness, but on a much more local level, the furniture donated at the Leyland shop is also used by the South Ribble Women’s Refuge, which houses women and children fleeing abusive relationships.

Peter added: “It is difficult sometimes, because nice things are hard to come by.

“But we have been open here a year now and we’re doing okay.

“We’re also just off the main high street in Leyland, so I don’t think everybody knows we’re here, but we’re trying to get the word out.”