Cross vol­un­teers

Char­ity shop to shut af­ter sale of premises

The Galloway News - - NEWS - Stephen Noriss

An­gry Red Cross vol­un­teers in Cas­tle Dou­glas have crit­i­cised the char­ity for sell­ing off their shop – on its 40th an­niver­sary.

The St An­drew’s Street prop­erty, which opened in Oc­to­ber, 1978, had been ad­ver­tised at £75,000 through sell­ing agents FG Bur­nett.

The Red Cross in­sists bet­ter premises are be­ing sought lo­cally – but the Ste­wartry vol­un­teers are unim­pressed.

They have been in­formed by char­ity bosses that the out­let will shut its doors to­mor­row.

All do­nated items must be packed up ready for re­moval by the end of this month.

Jean Bell, who has worked at the branch for six years, said: “We are dis­gusted. Our cus­tomers are dev­as­tated. We have been here for so many years. It’s just aw­ful.

“We can’t be­lieve the Red Cross is do­ing this. They are not both­ered – it’s all about money. As things stand we have nowhere to go.”

She added: “We have done it all for noth­ing. Ev­ery­body is so an­noyed that we are go­ing to be away.

“We can’t take do­na­tions any more be­cause there would be too much stuff to shift.”

An­other four vol­un­teers run a weekly mo­bil­ity aids ser­vice from the shop loan­ing out wheel­chairs and com­modes.

Near­est al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions are Stran­raer and Carlisle.

Mo­bil­ity aids and fundrais­ing vol­un­teer Anne Carstairs said: “There will be dis­rup­tion on a tem­po­rary ba­sis.

“The Red Cross is sell­ing a lot of build­ings off and Cas­tle Dou­glas is one of them. They had a quick sale which caught them un­awares and they are now look­ing for new premises.

“They still in­tend bring­ing wheel­chairs up from Carlisle as and when needed. Wheel­chairs will still be avail­able by phon­ing 07921 080893.”

She added: “We are hop­ing to have rented premises in fu­ture. They don’t know yet where that will be. We would like to thank the pub­lic for their sup­port over the years.”

Eileen Dun­can, Dum­fries and Gal­loway pres­i­dent of the Red Cross, said: “I only heard a week ago that they had sold it.

“I don’t know how we are go­ing to pack ev­ery­thing up in time.

“It has been a ter­rific shop with won­der­ful vol­un­teers who have been treated badly.

“No­body from Glas­gow has been telling them much about how they are go­ing to pack ev­ery­thing up and where they are go­ing to put it.”

A Bri­tish Red Cross spokesper­son said: “We have made the de­ci­sion as the build­ing was no longer suit­able to de­liver our ser­vices and are look­ing for more suit­able premises in the area.

“We will con­tinue to work with our vol­un­teers in this task and keep them in­formed at ev­ery stage of this process.”

Nowhere to go Vol­un­teers at the Red Cross shop in Cas­tle Dou­glas

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