St Albans charity shop wins national award after fire

Oxfam trading director Andrew Horton (front left) presents store manager Chris Rhodes (front right)

Oxfam trading director Andrew Horton (front left) presents store manager Chris Rhodes (front right) and her team of volunteers with the Trading Team of the Year Award. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A St Albans charity store has won Shop of the Year Award 2017 after a fire destroyed £15,000 worth of stock.

The Oxfam on Chequer Street received the accolade as part of Oxfam’s Annual Trading Volunteer awards - staff members were presented with certificates on September 29 to recognise the volunteers’ hard work in the face of adversity.

In February 2016 two blazes in the third storey of the store were started by a storage heater. It destroyed donations and forced the shop to close temporarily.

After the fire volunteer numbers plummeted from more than 70 to under 30, but new workers were recruited to re-open the shop.

Store manager Chris Rhodes said: “We are really delighted to receive the award and we were honoured to have a visit from the trading director.” She described the “devastating” fire as “awful” and “horrendous”, but thanked the people of St Albans for their support.


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