Slump forces donkey charity shops to close

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A charity shop in Church Walk, Burgess Hill that raised money to help working and retired donkeys in the Holy Land has been forced to close due to the recession.

A second shop in Portslade has also closed.

Both shops raised money for Scaynes Hill based charity ‘Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land’.

The charity is unaffected and continues with its work but the limited company that ran both shops has been placed into liquidation.

Wendy Ahl, a trustee of the charity, said: “Unfortunately, the recession has really hit our shops hard.

In that part of Burgess Hill, some shops have closed and we are not getting the footfall we used to. It’s busier at the other end of town, near Waitrose and Smith’s.

“People simply aren’t spending as much as they used to and we haven’t been getting in as many donations of items to sell. We were advised that the rents for the shops were at market value but the income was not enough to meet the out-goings.”

The Burgess Hill shop had an eye-catching, full-sized model of a donkey in the window but the display was not enough to pull in shoppers at the quieter end of the town.

The Safe Haven charity, which was nominated for a Mid Sussex Times Community Award, was founded by Lucy Fensom, who wanted to relieve the suffering faced by some working donkeys in Israel and Palestine. The charity runs a sanctuary helping nearly 200 donkeys and provides veterinary care through its clinics.

Wendy stressed: “The charity is continuing with its work and we will need more donations than ever.”

Please make a donation via the website at: www.safehaven4donkeys.org

n For all our community award winners see pages 16-18