Innovative charity gift shop opens in St Albans

HANDMADE scarves and handcrafted cards are just some of the items you will find at a new volunteer-run gift shop that opened for business this week.

Raindrops on Roses, located on High Street, St Albans, offers an alternative take on the traditional charity shop by stocking locally sourced products.

Whether you are looking for a special gift for a loved one or just fancy treating yourself, the shop is filled with unique items ranging from jewellery to soft furnishings.

And every penny it makes in profit is being donated to the Herts Against Cancer, which is a charity dedicated to raising awareness of cancer and improving early detection.

Store manager Tere Harrington said: “I think we’ll be a big asset to St Albans. We all know how hard it is to buy truly special presents and Raindrops on Roses will help people find gifts that become those ‘favourite things’.

“Even better, it won’t just be the thought that counts – you’ll know every penny has gone to a very good cause.”

All of the items on display have been handpicked by the team behind the store and each month new gift ideas will be brought in from local craftspeople.

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Alison Bainbridge from ABA Research, who funded Raindrops on Roses start-up costs, said: “The shop is exactly how I imagined. It feels local and welcoming and I love all the stories behind the products.

“I am surprised how many people have come forward and we have managed to fill the entire rota with volunteers. It is very humbling.”

She added: “This shop is about friendship and genuine community and doing something good for St Albans.”

More than 80 employees from ABA Research, based in St Albans, will also devote three to five of their working days per year to help run the shop.

One of the suppliers, Sinead McCarney, who designs children’s t-shirts and cushions, commented: “I think it is amazing because I live in St Albans and there is nothing like it here. I would shop here even if my stuff were not here.

“It seems like everybody thinks it is a good idea and something that should have been done a long time ago.”

More information can be found at or by calling 01727 866898.