Concerns as takings tumble at charity Xmas card outlet

THE manager of a charity Christmas card shop in Rye has said sales have slumped compared to this time last year.

The temporary shop sets up every year at Rye Community Centre, on Conduit Hill, in the run-up to Christmas and gives people the opportunity to support a number of local and national charities by purchasing cards.

It is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers.

Manager Jane Taylor believes the cost of postage could be affecting sales.

She said: “Times are hard. Takings are way down on last year, which is a shame as the volunteers give up so much of their time to run the shop. It has been horribly quiet this year.

“We had a good day on Saturday as St Mary’s Church in Rye had it’s big Christmas Fair and we had a stall there as well.

“But in general takings have tumbled. We are down by almost ten percent.

“The cards are mostly the same price as last year, but the postage of course adds hugely to the cost of keeping in touch with friends.

“We are lucky to have a core base of loyal shoppers who buy their cards from us year after year. But we need to attract new support and for people to spread the word.”

Local groups offering cards for sale include The Oliver Curd Trust, The Music Well and Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust.

Cards are also for sale from The Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust - the biggest seller last year - St Michael’s Hospice and the Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Jane Taylor said: “These groups rely largely on sales to people who know about their work, so we really do need the support of local people.”

The shop opened on October 25. It is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, at the Community Centre on Conduit Hill. It closes on December 18.