When my friend said that his elderly mother was having a clear out, he knew that I would be passing Manchester’s Oxfam Originals store on Oldham Street in the city centre. The store specialises in good quality, unusual items for the cities’ students, musicians and fashionistas!
My friend told me that most of the items came from the fifties or earlier and that they were all neatly packed in a carrying case. Keen to help him, his mother and Oxfam, I agreed to him dropping this off in my hall ready to take in on the train the next day.
A suitcase! A suitcase weighing a tonne – he forgot to mention that on the phone!
Anyway when I transported (dragged) the case to the shop, I was pleased to see how busy it was. A team of volunteers are ready to help you and the store was buzzing with shoppers keen to get a stylish bargain. With an Oxfam books, music and clothing shop across the road these stores more than hold their own in Manchester’s best alternative shopping street. (Local singer Josephine is shown outside this shop following an Oxjam gig).
Unfortunately, Oxfam’s shops face challenges; there are many other outlets which people can donate to and the quality of donations can be (if you pardon the pun) a mixed bag. Also depending on the time of year and local factors, volunteer availability can be an issue.
I have had many happy hours in this store and have picked up some items which I probably thought I looked cool in as a teenager! Sadly a day comes when you will change your mind about an item and decide it’s no longer working for you; I realised too late that somebody else could make better use of my psychedelic orange and purple paisley shirt! It’s time to clear some space and raise money for Oxfam.
So why not call in today at your local Oxfam shop and see what you can do to help?