A PETITION has been started to try and save a charity shop in Didcot which is closing this year as the building is being demolished due to asbestos.

More than 100 people have already signed the online petition to save Changing Lives, at the bottom of Broadway, which has been in the town for almost a decade.

The charity provides relief for those in need by making grants and donations to individuals and organisations through the profits earned in the shop.

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Founder Valerie Prior announced in April that the shop would be closing and said she is devastated about the issues with the building, which also includes damage to the roof, and says people who visit the store “are like family” to her.

The building was due to be knocked down about three months ago but Miss Prior managed to get the demolition date moved to October.

She hopes to find another location in the town to move to but is concerned she would not be able to find a building the same size with affordable.

Now, Chloe Prior has started the petition to try and get some action taken to save the store.

She said she is “unsure” what the petition will do but said that it will at least show the community how many people benefit from the store.

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On the petition website, she said: “Changing lives charity shop in Didcot is losing its premises and have to be out by the end of October.

“With time going extremely quickly and the shop being unable to find somewhere suitable, I think it time for the community to step in and help out if and where they can.

“[I’m not sure what good this petition will do but will perhaps show how many people benefit from the service and would be sad to see it go - please sign to support a local charity.”

A total of 149 signatures have already been made. One person who signed said: “This is amazing charity that has done so much for Didcot – it would a sin for it to go.”

Another said: “Changing Lives is a charity shop which puts their funds straight back into the community. It would be great if a new location could be found them.”

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A third added: “Fantastic local charity who help people in our community.”

The store, which has 15 employees and volunteers, mostly sells new and second-hand goods including books, DVDS, household electrical items, furniture and more.

Miss Prior set up a second store in Church Street in Wantage to take the pressure off the Didcot store.

To sign, visit: change.org/p/save-changing-lives-charity-shop-didcot 


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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