Friday, June 21, 2024

Little Stars charity to open first-ever shop in Shrewsbury’s Darwin shopping centre – Shropshire Council Newsroom

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02/05/2024 – Permalink Related topics: Economic growth / Partner organisations

Leanne Simcoe, founder and CEO at Little Stars outside the new shop

Little Stars, a dedicated local charity committed to supporting babies and children in need, is to open its first charity shop, in The Darwin shopping centre in Shrewsbury.

The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday 4 May [2024] from 10am.

This community shop will serve as a welcoming space for families, offering a wide array of pre-loved baby, children, and maternity wear, as well as providing a space for families in need to access essential items.

Located at The Collective on the ground floor of The Darwin, the new Little Stars shop will not only offer affordable clothing options but also serve as a vital hub for the community.

With a focus on sustainability and community support, the store will sell excess stock that the charity cannot utilise for its core services, ensuring that these items find new homes while contributing to the charity’s mission.

In addition to providing clothing for babies, toddlers, children, and expectant mothers, the shop will offer a unique service for families supported by Little Stars.

Leanne Simcoe, founder and CEO at Little Stars, said:

“This is a momentous occasion for Little Stars. From the very beginning, I envisioned a Little Stars shop and to now be opening one is very exciting.

“The shop will fulfil three goals. Firstly, offering a welcoming space for those who have been referred to us and giving them the opportunity to browse and choose the clothing themselves, a service we haven’t been able to provide until now. Secondly, it allows us to find new homes for wonderful items that wouldn’t fit into our standard bundles, this gives families and pregnant women seeking good quality, affordable clothing for their children and themselves a fantastic option. Lastly, every purchase directly supports Little Stars’ mission, creating a vital revenue stream ensuring we can continue providing essential items to families in need of our support across Shropshire for years to come.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support of The Darwin centre team. We are extremely grateful for their partnership and excited to embark on this new venture together!”

Kevin Lockwood, centre manager of The Darwin, said:

“Since I met the team at Little Stars through my involvement in the Shrewsbury Business Chamber, the end goal has always been to try and help them secure a presence and shop within The Darwin. Leanne is a remarkable lady, who works tirelessly, and I have been very impressed by her diligence throughout this process.

“This new store will be an important resource for our community to find affordable and nearly new items for themselves and family, while raising funds for an incredible cause.”

On Saturday community members, families, and supporters are encouraged to join in the festivities and explore the diverse range of clothing items available at the shop. All proceeds from sales at the Little Stars shop will directly support the charity’s initiatives, including its baby bank and community hubs.

For more information about Little Stars and its new shop, or to volunteer, please visit, www.littlestarscharity.org or contact the team at enquiries@littlestarscharity.org.

Further information

About Little Stars Charity: Little Stars is a registered charity (1191130) founded in 2020, dedicated to supporting families in need across Shropshire. With a deep commitment to our community, we strive to make a positive impact by ensuring that every child has access to the essentials they need to feel safe and secure. Our mission is to alleviate the emotional stress and financial pressures faced by families by providing quality essentials for babies, children, and pregnant women. Through our various campaigns and initiatives, we aim to offer practical support that enhances the lives of families in need. For more information, donate or to find out more about volunteering please visit www.littlestarscharity.org

Key initiatives:

  • Baby Bank: Little Stars operates a baby bank, providing essential items such as clothing, nappies, toiletries, and equipment such as moses baskets, stairgates, and pushchairs to families in need. The baby bank serves as a lifeline for parents facing financial difficulties, ensuring that no child goes without the essentials they require for their health and comfort.
  • Tots to Teen: Children grow, and they still deserve clean clothing and essentials throughout pre-school, school, and teenage years. Our pre-loved supply of clothing is here for you, along with essential toiletries to ensure every child has what they need.
  • Community hubs: In partnership with various organizations, we offer crucial items like wipes, nappies, and toiletries for little ones, as well as toiletries for adults. Additionally, we host regular pop-ups for school uniforms and winter coats to address the unique needs of our community.
  • Cool for School: Partnering with schools and organizations across Shropshire, we supply school uniforms to those who need them. Every child deserves to be proud to wear their uniform just like their peers.
  • Santa’s Little Stars: This initiative enables referral services to hand out wrapped age-appropriate Christmas presents to children all over the county. Thanks to our generous supporters, who donate new presents, we ensure every child has something to smile about on Christmas Day.

Impact and success stories:

  • 2,383 Children, parents and carers supported: Little Stars has provided support to over 2383 children, parents, and carers since November 2020, ensuring that they have access to the basic essentials they need to thrive.
  • 42,314 items gifted: Through the generosity of our donors and volunteers, Little Stars has gifted over 42,314 items to families in need, including clothing, toiletries, and equipment.
  • Referral increase: The number of referrals received by Little Stars over the first quarter of 2024 has doubled from the same period last year, highlighting the growing need for support in our community.
  • Poverty rates: Poverty rates in Shropshire are on the rise, with 32% of the children living below the poverty line. Of this, 70% are from working-class families struggling to make ends meet.

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