Mildenhall charity shop set to close after 25 years

Mildenhall Age UK shop manager Val Firthwith deputy manager Noella Vine and volunteer Pat Waller ANL-150209-180731009
Mildenhall Age UK shop manager Val Firthwith deputy manager Noella Vine and volunteer Pat Waller ANL-150209-180731009

One of Mildenhall’s oldest charity shops is closing after 25 years as its lease comes up for renewal.

Age Uk Suffolk will close its shop in The Precinct after it was unable to negotiate changes to the shop lease.

Age UK Suffolk chief executive Sharron Cozens said yesterday that their landlord was refusing to agree to a lease of less than five years.

She said: “With the potential of the base shutting, we want to change the terms from five years to three years.

“We really don’t want to leave Mildenhall because we’ve got a good band of volunteers and stock coming in.

“We’ve had to review all our shops and if we do sign a five year lease and circumstances change, we’ll have problems.

“Whilst we’re a charity we do have to act as a business and have to ensure that all funds that come to us are spent on helping older people.”

She said they would look at other premises in Mildenhall if they were offered, but had to consider the cost of setting the shop up.

The shop has a manager and two part-time deputies, plus 16 volunteers, who face redundancy if alternatives cannot be found.

Manager Val Firth said: “I thank all our customers for their support and help, and the same with the volunteers – without them we wouldn’t have a charity.”

She is planning a farewell and thankyou part for staff and volunteers.

Age UK Suffolk can be contacted through its website at www.ageuk.org.uk/suffolk