• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Changing Lives in Didcot has found a new premise


Sep 2, 2022

A CHARITY shop in Didcot has found new premises after fears it would close due to its current building being demolished next month.

Changing Lives, at the bottom of Broadway, was told to vacate by the landlord after 10 years due to asbestos in the building and structural issues with the roof.

Many residents were upset that the charity, provides relief for those in need by making grants and donations to individuals and organisations through the profits earned in the shop, would face closure if it couldn’t find new premises.

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However, after four months of hunting founder Valerie Prior has found a new building only four doors down.

The charity is due to move into the Galaxy TecnO computer repair service store rented out by the Orchard Centre.

The repair service will move into a building next to charity shop’s existing premise. The contracts are yet to be signed and exchanged before a move in date is confirmed.

“It’s so positive now,” said Miss Prior. “I was really broken when we couldn’t find a new place. I’m a bit nervous until the contracts are signed but I would like to thank my customers – they’ve been so wonderful and supportive.

“The Orchard Centre originally wouldn’t let us use the store as they thought it was too costly. So I messaged my MP and customers messaged the MP and suddenly the Orchard Centre agreed.

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“I really went up against it and everything I tried in order to save the store.”

Customers have been thrilled to hear the news after a petition was started in attempts to find a new building for the charity.

Hundreds of people signed the online petition to show the community how many people benefit from the store.

Commenting on Facebook, one customer said: “Fantastic news. Well done everyone. You all work so hard for the charity and I'm super glad a space has become available for you all to continue helping people the way you all do and really changing lives.”

Another customer added: “What brilliant news. You guys do so much for the community, so pleased you have found somewhere and a bonus you don't have far to move.”

Many have even offered help with moving the store once a date has been set.

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The store, which has 15 employees and volunteers, mostly sells new and second-hand goods including books, DVDS, household electrical items, furniture and more.

Miss Prior set up a second store in Church Street in Wantage to take the pressure off the Didcot store.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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