As the national lockdown begins to lift and we look towards the reopening of our charity shops, we take a peek inside our newly refurbished Rochester and Canterbury stores.

After sadly closing our shop doors before Christmas last year, following updated government guidelines, a small team of retail staff remained busy behind the scenes taking the silver linings wherever they could find them; the highlight being that they were able to embark on these long-awaited makeover projects.

First to go under the paintbrush was our much-loved Rochester boutique. With its trademark eclectic look, already a favourite with local shoppers this was set to be a huge project. Such a big project would usually mean a big budget, but with our zero-waste initiative at the forefront of the job in hand our dedicated and resourceful team set to work dismantling, reassembling, sanding and painting, doing much of the work themselves.

Shelving, fixtures and fittings were sourced locally and skilfully repurposed from old cable drums and scaffold boards, giving them a new lease of life.

Old fixtures that were no longer needed in our Rochester shop found their way to Canterbury where they were put to good use. In the basement of the store, a new wall was erected and the space received a complete overhaul; transforming into a wonderful menswear and media department, complete with trendy displays showing off the latest looks for the fashion-conscious shopper. Meanwhile, the ground floor was given a new, refreshing white and grey colour scheme; with the left-over paint being used in our Whitstable shop for a mini-makeover.

Under normal circumstances, projects like these would mean sacrificing important income streams while we close our shops so contractors can safely complete the work. While we have undoubtedly missed welcoming you into our charity shops, we have been blown away by the continued commitment shown by our retail teams. Over the past months and during these renovations they have shown true creativity and innovation by recycling, reusing and repurposing; putting into practice our green ambitions and showing that pre-loved wins once again.

For the latest information and opening times of each of our shops, please do check our shops page as this will be updated as and when new branches are able to safely reopen.

Each shop page will also state times that we are able to accept donations, as this may vary between branches.

Here at Demelza, we’re incredibly fortunate to be supported by an amazing team of staff and volunteers that allow us to continue the vital work that we do. Our retail shops, in particular, rely on the help of local people to maintain that important income stream. Becoming a Team Demelza retail volunteer can be a very rewarding experience and you’ll find opportunities to take on new challenges, learn new skills and meet new people.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering in one of our retail shops, distribution centre or e-commerce team, come along to our virtual recruitment sessions. Sessions are running on Tuesday 6 April, 12pm – 1pm and Thursday 15 April, 10am – 11am via Zoom. 

Click here, for more information and to RSVP to either session via our Facebook events.