Row over Rye charity shop closure

Old Rye Community Charity shop,  7 Cinque Ports Street. SUS-150928-154859001
Old Rye Community Charity shop, 7 Cinque Ports Street. SUS-150928-154859001

A row has broken out between volunteers and a Rye charity after one of their shops closed.

ARRCC and a group of volunteers set up the Rye Community Charity Shop on Cinque Ports Street two and a half years ago and have raised around £20,000.

The shop’s management committee, who represent the volunteers, have now decided to part ways and the charity will take over the premises.

So the volunteers are no longer needed and many people have voiced their anger.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful and ungrateful by ARRCC to say the least,” one anonymous person said.

“They’ve got £20,000 for doing absolutely nothing.”

Others have posted on social media including Sharon Bussbridge who wrote: “This group of volunteers have given up so much time to build the shop up and it seems disgusting that ARRCC could do this to a group of people that have worked so hard.”

The shop is now derelict after closing on Friday, September 18.

In the original agreement, the shop’s profits were shared equally between ARRCC and the volunteers, who gave their half to their choice of charities and community groups.

The charity owned the building and paid the bills and the volunteers ran the shop.

Chairman of the shop’s management committee Kate Sims said the shop has been extremely successful and distanced themselves from those angry about the closure as they believe it is for the best.

“The management committee of the shop felt that now was the right time to look to establish and market itself independently of ARRCC and as a result following discussions, the partnership is to be amicably dissolved at the end of September,” she said.

“It is hoped that we will reopen our shop in the near future and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have generously supported us.

“We have valued the support of ARRCC and hope that they will be as successful in the premises of 7 Cinque Ports Street as we have been over the past two and a half years.

“We the management committee understand that many people may feel upset that the shop is closing but we would like to assure everyone that we will be back and operating as soon as we are able to find suitable premises.”

An ARRCC spokesman said: “The decision for both organisations to have separate identities and eventually separate shops, enables volunteers and donors to identify more closely with their chosen charity or community group,” the spokesman said.

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