Charity shop to shut after sale of premises
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