‘The Changing Room’ Charity shop brings in £100,000 to help reduce poverty overseas

‘The Changing Room’ charity shop in Garvagh has raised an incredible £100,000 to support Christian Aid in its work to tackle extreme poverty overseas.

The money has been raised over the past six years by the charity shop on Main Street in Garvagh which first opened its doors in 2016. The shop is run by local woman Rachel McCormick and her team of 15 volunteers.

Rachel said: “We chose the name ‘The Changing Room’ because we know how Christian Aid’s work can transform the lives of people experiencing extreme poverty.”

Christian Aid works to help end poverty, injustice, inequality and violence in some of the poorest countries across the world. This Christmas, Christian Aid is raising awareness of the difficulties facing farmers in northern Malawi where many rural families survive on around $1 a day. A Christian Aid-funded project in the north of the country is helping farmers to irrigate their fields and grow more food. The bigger harvests have boosted the farmers’ incomes, meaning that they can now pay school fees to send their children to school.

'The Changing Room' Charity shop brings in £100,000 to help reduce poverty overseas
Caption: Loshas Munthali and his wife Florence in their banana plantation in northern Malawi, irrigated with a solar-powered water pump he bought after receiving help from Christian Aid’s local partner. Credit: Malumbo Simwaka/Christian Aid

Among the more unusual items donated to the shop recently was a collection of more than 50 ceramic watering cans. Rachel said: “It’s nice to think that the sale of these little ornamental watering cans could play a part in helping poor farmers in Malawi to irrigate their fields.”

'The Changing Room' Charity shop brings in £100,000 to help reduce poverty overseas
Caption: Loshas Munthali in northern Malawi with the solar-powered water pump he bought after receiving help from Christian Aid’s local partner. He uses the pump to irrigate his bananas, tomatoes and vegetables – boosting his yield and his income. Credit: Malumbo Simwaka/Christian Aid

Speaking at an event on Tuesday to celebrate the shop’s achievement, the charity’s Chief Executive
Rosamond Bennett said: “In the six years since the shop opened, Rachel and the other volunteers have given thousands of hours of their time without payment to sort goods and sell them. We are immensely grateful to all of them for the generous gift of their time. We are also grateful to everyone in the local community for supporting the shop with their donations and purchases.”

Christian Aid’s Garvagh charity shop, The Changing Room, is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.30 am until 4.30 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am until 4 pm.

To find out more about Christian Aid’s Christmas appeal, which this year celebrates the impact of the charity’s work in Malawi, please visit caid.ie/ChristmasAppeal