I will be honest, up until recently I didn’t really have much of an interest in charity shops. Of course I knew how important they were for charities to raise funds for their individual causes, but I didn’t feel that charity shops were really ‘for me’, and I didn’t go in many for this reason. I also didn’t know much about the charities local to me, as I have lived a fortunate life and haven’t needed to rely on these services, something I am extremely grateful for.
I recently started a job at the head office of a local charity, and I understand a lot better how a charity works, how the funds raised in charity shops can make a huge difference in the services that the business can provide, and just generally how great charity shops can be so, when I was invited along to another charity’s newly relaunched shop with the Bournemouth Bloggers, I was more than happy to go along and visit.
Julia’s House is a charity helping children who have life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses and their families. Although they do provide a hospice environment for some, their work goes much further than this, helping not only the child with the illness, but their parents, siblings and even grandparents with dedicated clubs, programmes and support groups. We were shown a video and given a presentation about the work the charity does, and some of the stories of those they have helped, and it is truly humbling.
The Julia’s House store in Creekmoor has recently been refurbished, with an extension, meaning that the charity shop is one of the biggest I have been in, and a must-visit whether you think charity shops are ‘for you’ or not.
Spoiler alert, this is no ordinary charity shop – they even have their own bridal room complete with beautiful dressing room and stylish gowns at extremely affordable prices. I fell in love with one dress, priced at £250, and I had to remind myself I am already married and do not have any need for another wedding dress!
Each section is fully stocked, but doesn’t resemble that typical ‘jumble sale’ vibe that some charity shops has. Great care and attention has been taken to ensure that the shop is a proper experience for customers. The staff are so passionate about not only the charity’s cause, but the shop’s look and feel as well, and it pays off with the shop resembling a department store in places.
It was brilliant to hear about how the staff have refurbished using almost all donated or upcycled items, without the need to spend those all important funds raised from the shop. There are some brilliant quirky touches to the shop, some of which I couldn’t help but stop to photograph, and I absolutely loved hearing the story behind the two Tardis!
The clothing section has some absolutely incredible finds, including a designer stand, which had a gorgeous tartan mini skirt that I would have happily walked away with if I hadn’t been on a strict spending ban at the time. I need to go back and have a proper shop soon.
Carly came along with me to the event and she was totally spoilt by all the staff in the shop who were lovely and helped her look around and find things that she loved. The children’s section is fantastic and has lots of fun stuff to keep children entertained including the giant giraffe shelving.
I was so impressed with the Julia’s House store in Creekmoor. I would recommend you visit if you are looking for pretty much anything (their range is impressive, they even have furniture). The environmental impact of fast fashion is something which many are trying to avoid at the moment, and shopping at charity shops, buying second hand items, is one way to implement this, whilst also helping a worthy cause.
I was invited along to a press event for bloggers at Julia’s House in Creekmoor, however I was under no obligation to write about my visit, all words and images are my own.