A CHARITY in Ross-shire which makes a difference around the world has benefited from a major revamp.
Blythswood’s flagship charity shop at its Ross-shire headquarters received a makeover and redesign thanks to support received from Zero Waste Scotland.
MFR Breakfast Show presenter Nicky Marr was on hand to cut the ribbon at the enlarged and refurbished store in Highland Deephaven Industrial Estate, Evanton.
The renovation sees the shop adopt a department store layout for the first time. It now boasts popular sections for shoppers, such as ladies’ clothing, men’s clothing, household gifts, dishes, bric-a-brac and books. Bedroom furniture is grouped with bedding and curtains and there are sections for kitchen, living and dining-room furniture and goods. The spacious store also boasts being child-friendly, with a special area with kids’ clothes and toys.
Nicky has been aware of Blythswood’s work since her children were small, having filled shoeboxes for the Shoebox Appeal. She became involved as a volunteer following the Bam earthquake in 2004.
She said: "It’s an Aladdin’s Cave of goodies, and a great place to hunt for treasures which have been loved before. And of course all the money raised goes towards helping those in need. It’s a win-win situation."
Blythswood Care is one of three organisations across Scotland chosen to receive support from Zero Waste Scotland as part of a project which aimed to create a number of "retail flagship" stores across Scotland to showcase the reuse sector at its best.
Tony Edwards, Zero Waste Scotland said: "Blythswood, like many other reuse organisations in Scotland, offer great quality reused goods at competitive prices. Our support aims to help a number of reuse organisations to refresh the way they present their offers so that they attract new customers and help existing loyal customers find even more bargains. This is just one way we are working with reuse organisations to raise awareness of the sector and encourage confidence in shopping at local reuse stores."
"By donating high quality yet unwanted items to reuse organisations, we can avoid wasting perfectly good items. Buying secondhand is also a great way to save money. Currently Scottish householders save over £80million a year by buying reused items, but we would love to see this number increase with more people shopping at reuse organisations like Blythswood."
Plenty of parking spaces make the shop readily accessible by car, just one minute from the Skiach junction on the A9.
Shop manager Joyce Elder said that the makeover has already boosted sales. "Our best sellers are women’s tops and shirts," she says. "We also sell a lot of furniture and can deliver it within the Inverness and Easter Ross areas."
"All our shop items have real worth and are at great prices. Our recognition as a reuse flagship by Zero Waste Scotland is a tremendous boost."