Grantham Oxfam shop to close after half a century in the town

The Oxfam shop in Grantham is to close at the end of May. Pictured are shop manager Olive Billingham, left, and area manager Maria Harrison.

The Oxfam shop in Grantham is to close at the end of May. Pictured are shop manager Olive Billingham, left, and area manager Maria Harrison.

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A charity shop is to close at the end of the month after trading in the town for about 50 years.

The Oxfam shop first opened in Westgate in the 1960s and moved to its present location in Market Place in the 1970s.

The shop’s management said that it has been decided to close because of a big drop in custom, which has worsened since the pedestrianisation of the car park outside the shop several years ago. It will close on May 31.

Shop manager Olive Billingham, who has worked at the shop for 10 years, said: “It is very sad. The shop has been in Grantham for such a long time and we have many regular customers. They are going to be disappointed.

“We have a good team of volunteers. They are like a family together and get on very well. Everybody loves coming here.”

About 15 volunteers work at the shop. Among them are David and Ursula Brown who have volunteered their services at the shop for 25 years. Two more volunteers, Sue Doughty and Daphne Gray, have worked there for 20 years.

Area manager Maria Harrison told the Journal: “The volunteers are very upset about it. The nearest Oxfam shops are in Stamford and Lincoln and that is too far for them to travel.

“We have tried lowering prices and putting on special offers to try and keep the shop open, but the footfall has dropped off and this is the way retail is going.”

The shop will continue to accept donations until it closes. After it has closed, people can still make donations of clothing at the banks at Sainsbury’s.

Maria added: “We would like to thank people for their custom. They have been very supportive over the years.The volunteer team have pulled together recently because Olive was off work with a broken hip. They have shown what a dedicated team they really are. We would also like to thank the community because we are very much a community shop and we know we will be missed.”