Buy well priced designer brands for a life-saving cause

Like many charities, the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) receives much-needed revenues from its retail operation.

Published in Essex Director magazine, Spring | Summer 2022

Giving Back: Essex & Herts Air Ambulance charity shops

EHAAT has eight shops and one donation centre covering the two counties, but one, in particular, is wonderfully different – the Colchester shop sells only designer-brand clothing and accessories.

Buy well priced designer brands for a life-saving cause 1Vicky Gunner is Shop Manager at the Head Street store and also runs the Eastwood shop. She has personal reasons for working there. “I am a type 1 diabetic and have been airlifted twice by EHAAT, so I’m incredibly passionate about the charity and the life-saving service it provides.

“We are ideally situated close to the main High Street, the Colchester Institute, and opposite the Colchester Art Centre.

“Our decision to set the shop up to predominantly focus on upmarket, designer label items has a lot to do with the shop’s location. We wanted something that wasn’t your typical charity shop and appealed to students and young people looking for high-quality branded items with a low-end price tag. It’s also popular with older customers who need something to wear for a one-off party or corporate function. We have set the shop out as a boutique-style space, stocked through donations with high-end, upmarket clothing and accessories.”

There is ladies’ and men’s clothing, designer shoes, trainers, handbags and jewellery. Shoppers can also browse an area for bric-a-brac and small household items.

Find incredible bargains

Vicky added: “Most donations come from the public, but we also receive unused end of line or sample stock items from major retailers. It’s amazing what we get. For instance, a new unworn Superdry, which retails at £60, was sold for £6. Or a £240 Ralph Lauren dress was worn once to a party before being donated and sold for £40! These are just two of the things that have come through the door.

“We are quite selective about what we put out on the shop floor. Everything needs to be of good quality and in good condition. If the item doesn’t sell within a couple of weeks, we move it on to one of our other shops.

“The hottest sellers are Nike, Adidas and Converse trainers. We post our new arrivals every day on our Facebook page (Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Colchester Charity Shop), and a lot of our items are often gone before we get a chance to put them in the shop.”

Are you looking for a designer label bargain? Visit the EHAAT shop on Head Street (next to Taco Bell), Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, follow the shop on Facebook, and if you see something you like, then call 01206 913045, pay over the phone, and the item will be posted to your door. Simple!

Buy well priced designer brands for a life-saving cause 5

The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Colchester charity shop is looking for donations of branded, clean, good quality clothing, shoes, handbags and bric-a-brac. Please bring items to the shop at Head Street in a bin bag during opening hours. Should you have 12 bags or more, call the shop on 01206 913045, and someone will be happy to arrange a collection.

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