Rents force Swindon charity shop closure

Volunteer David Simonds at the Chernobyl Charity Shop in Old Town,which is closing down

Volunteer David Simonds at the Chernobyl Charity Shop in Old Town,which is closing down Buy this photo

First published in News by

CRIPPLED by an ever-increasing rent, a charity shop in Old Town dedicated to the welfare of the children of Belarus has been left with no choice but to close down.

After a hard-fought battle to stay afloat, the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line store will fold at the end of the month – three years after launching on Victoria Road.

During its short lifespan the shop, which sells anything from home furniture to books and trinkets, has seen its rent rocket from around £9,000 per year to more than £15,000 according to volunteer David Simonds.

Funds raised through the shop allowed children growing up in Belarus and neighbouring Ukraine in the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear disaster to travel to the UK for a month each year for respite care.

“It is disappointing,” said David. “But all the time we’ve been here has been a struggle. It’s got more difficult to make money from the shop. We are proud of what we did here but it’s just not possible anymore.

“The main goal was to bring children from the Belarus and Ukraine area to the UK.

“It’s just too much to make the money for the rent and for the children. We won’t be able to bring the kids over.”

To boost cash flow, the team started a cafe for shoppers around Christmas time, selling hot drinks for £1. But by Easter the coffee corner was scrapped.

Contending with online giants like Amazon selling books at competitive prices and trading in general had been difficult for volunteers, who struggled to attract customers.

“People don’t buy books so much – they have Kindles or they buy cheap ones on the net and it’s more and more difficult to sell them,” added David.

“They forget about charity shops. We started a coffee shop after Christmas but it closed at Easter. It seemed like a good idea but it didn’t work out. It’s a shame.”

Former shop volunteer Rosie Baylies, who welcomed two children from Chernobyl into her home last year as part of the charity’s family project, said: “The rent went up each year. Shops across the country help to bring thousands of children to the UK for a month each year and that break is supposed to increase their life span by two years. It’s a holiday. But so much money went into the rent. It was difficult.”

To find out more about Chernobyl Children’s Life Line visit www.ccll.org.uk

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:05am Wed 6 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

With so many "charities" after our money, this is clearly not a mainstream one and would only have a limited support so is it really a surprise? Sadly we cant sort out all the World's problems no matter how much we would want to.
With so many "charities" after our money, this is clearly not a mainstream one and would only have a limited support so is it really a surprise? Sadly we cant sort out all the World's problems no matter how much we would want to. house on the hill
  • Score: 18

8:20am Wed 6 Aug 14

Al Smith says...

I think we see here who might really be killing the high street - greedy landlords. If the economy hasn't grown by 60% how on earth can rents?
I think we see here who might really be killing the high street - greedy landlords. If the economy hasn't grown by 60% how on earth can rents? Al Smith
  • Score: 9

9:09am Wed 6 Aug 14

Davidsyrett says...

Al Smith wrote:
I think we see here who might really be killing the high street - greedy landlords. If the economy hasn't grown by 60% how on earth can rents?
I would imagine it's more like a discounted rent for the first couple of years when the shop was getting started, before it went up to the full amount.
[quote][p][bold]Al Smith[/bold] wrote: I think we see here who might really be killing the high street - greedy landlords. If the economy hasn't grown by 60% how on earth can rents?[/p][/quote]I would imagine it's more like a discounted rent for the first couple of years when the shop was getting started, before it went up to the full amount. Davidsyrett
  • Score: 15

9:33am Wed 6 Aug 14

Devonlass says...

Don't believe all that you read. I've been in there and they wanted a fortune for crap! After talking to staff (some were very rude!) I was left in no uncertain terms that management didn't have a clue and judging by the rants on their facebook page they have no respect either!
Don't believe all that you read. I've been in there and they wanted a fortune for crap! After talking to staff (some were very rude!) I was left in no uncertain terms that management didn't have a clue and judging by the rants on their facebook page they have no respect either! Devonlass
  • Score: 5

9:55am Wed 6 Aug 14

Robh says...

I believe the market price for rents is what tenants can pay not the money the landlords want. If they carry on like this there will be a lot more empty properties around.
I believe the market price for rents is what tenants can pay not the money the landlords want. If they carry on like this there will be a lot more empty properties around. Robh
  • Score: -1

10:38am Wed 6 Aug 14

GrumpyLocal says...

Robh wrote:
I believe the market price for rents is what tenants can pay not the money the landlords want. If they carry on like this there will be a lot more empty properties around.
The market price is the price that ANY tenant is willing to pay. If the landlord believes, or already has prospective tenants lined up that are willing to pay the amount he is asking for, he has every right to ask for the same from an existing tenant unless there is a contract already in place that determines the price.
[quote][p][bold]Robh[/bold] wrote: I believe the market price for rents is what tenants can pay not the money the landlords want. If they carry on like this there will be a lot more empty properties around.[/p][/quote]The market price is the price that ANY tenant is willing to pay. If the landlord believes, or already has prospective tenants lined up that are willing to pay the amount he is asking for, he has every right to ask for the same from an existing tenant unless there is a contract already in place that determines the price. GrumpyLocal
  • Score: 4

11:39am Wed 6 Aug 14

mrwoo says...

David Simonds looks like a fun chap!
David Simonds looks like a fun chap! mrwoo
  • Score: -5

3:59pm Wed 6 Aug 14

benzss says...

house on the hill wrote:
With so many "charities" after our money, this is clearly not a mainstream one and would only have a limited support so is it really a surprise? Sadly we cant sort out all the World's problems no matter how much we would want to.
"charities"?

Why the scare quotes?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: With so many "charities" after our money, this is clearly not a mainstream one and would only have a limited support so is it really a surprise? Sadly we cant sort out all the World's problems no matter how much we would want to.[/p][/quote]"charities"? Why the scare quotes? benzss
  • Score: -1

5:44pm Wed 6 Aug 14

vwfudge says...

Mr Treasure owns that shop and others on the same road.He is a tight arse **** !!! he is stinking rich and everything he has his dad made the money for him.He lives in Spain mostly ! poor poor man
Mr Treasure owns that shop and others on the same road.He is a tight arse **** !!! he is stinking rich and everything he has his dad made the money for him.He lives in Spain mostly ! poor poor man vwfudge
  • Score: 3

7:16pm Thu 7 Aug 14

CllrDJGAZZAperky@HaydenMaSS says...

If they had wanted to stay in business surely they could of moved to a cheaper location?
More bleeding hearts. Setting up a charity shop in one of the higher footfall areas of the town and certainly an Old town address would cost more than say a fleet street one.
Not the first time pride came before a fall.
If they had wanted to stay in business surely they could of moved to a cheaper location? More bleeding hearts. Setting up a charity shop in one of the higher footfall areas of the town and certainly an Old town address would cost more than say a fleet street one. Not the first time pride came before a fall. CllrDJGAZZAperky@HaydenMaSS
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Sandor Clegane says...

CllrDJGAZZAperky@Hay
denMaSS
wrote:
If they had wanted to stay in business surely they could of moved to a cheaper location?
More bleeding hearts. Setting up a charity shop in one of the higher footfall areas of the town and certainly an Old town address would cost more than say a fleet street one.
Not the first time pride came before a fall.
Hear, Hear sick to death of these failures that want people to prop them up.
Charity shops should be at the bottom of town ONLY.
[quote][p][bold]CllrDJGAZZAperky@Hay denMaSS[/bold] wrote: If they had wanted to stay in business surely they could of moved to a cheaper location? More bleeding hearts. Setting up a charity shop in one of the higher footfall areas of the town and certainly an Old town address would cost more than say a fleet street one. Not the first time pride came before a fall.[/p][/quote]Hear, Hear sick to death of these failures that want people to prop them up. Charity shops should be at the bottom of town ONLY. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree