Mildenhall charity shop’s generous bridal donation

Volunteer at St Nicholas Hospice Care Shop in Mildenhall Mandy Cooke with just some of the donated wedding dresses, tiaras and shoes. ANL-150215-214815009
Volunteer at St Nicholas Hospice Care Shop in Mildenhall Mandy Cooke with just some of the donated wedding dresses, tiaras and shoes. ANL-150215-214815009
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Looking for the perfect outfit for your wedding day? A Mildenhall charity shop may be able to help, following a staggering donation of stock from a local bridal boutique.

The St Nicholas Hospice Care shop received the generous donation, worth several thousand pounds, after the shop’s owner decided to retire.

Manager Karen Beale said she was on her lunch break when the stock of three wedding dresses, 30 bridesmaid dresses, 34 tiaras and 34 pairs of shoes was delivered in October last year.

She said: “We couldn’t believe what we had got. We opened up all the boxes and just thought, wow.

“All the shoes in their own boxes, and the dressing hanging up - it was just amazing. I’ve worked in charity shops for about 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.

“It is the value of everything which is so incredble - to have two wedding dresses come in worth £2,500 each is just great.”

Since the items were put out on Valentine’s Day they have shifted quickly, with one of the wedding dresses being sold within half an hour.

Karen estimates if all the items, including children’s and adult’s bridesmaid dresses and shoes, are sold they could raise between £3,000 and £4,000 for the hospice.

The two remaining wedding dresses, both size 12, are priced at £250 and £300, with bridesmaid dresses from £20 to £60 and shoes ranging from £30 to £50.

Karen said: “Many items still have their original price tags - our prices show a vast difference.

“I would recommend anyone thinking about getting married come to have a look - if they’re working on a bit of a budget, they could end up with a real bargain.”

Karen said the unexpected delivery has helped to bring a new, younger crowd into the already diverse shop.

“People now, especially women, are very switched on and know what to look for, so this is a great selection to draw them in,” said Karen.

The new stock has also generated a rise in people offering donations of wedding-related items.

Karen said: “It has had a knock-on effect in that way, which is really good.

“Wedding dresses alone can be an extremely expensive part of the outfit, and if this is something which is going to work we may continue it.”