Students set to stage charity shop takeover

West Suffolk College students set to stage 'takeover' of Salvation Army shop'The Salvation Army shop, Cornhill, Bury Saint Edmunds'West Suffolk College students are taking over six charity shops in Bury St Edmunds as part of their business course. WSC L3 Business and Retail students Patryk Burczyk, Lauren Downey and Liam Collis'Picture Mark Westley

Charity shops across Bury St Edmunds are to undergo takeovers in the name of education and raising more money.

Business and retail students from West Suffolk College will use their skills in business, social media and visual merchandising during the takeovers of the EACH, Suffolk AgeUK, St Nicholas Hospice Care, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research UK and Salvation Army shops.

The students have already visited their shops to see how they might change the windows and shop floors to boost footfall and revenue.

The six groups will be competing with each other to see which can raise the most.

Bev Pepper, Barnardo’s store manager, said: “After speaking to the three students who are going to be my placements I felt there was the enthusiasm we would like to see in store.

“Plenty of questions were asked and I’m sure we will achieve great things in the few days. We may be a charity shop but we work just the same as mainstream retail to achieve targets and budgets. This will give the students an eye opener to how we work to raise money.”

Jo Reeder, head of fund-raising and marketing for Age UK Suffolk, said: “Working with West Suffolk College on this exciting project will be hugely beneficial.

“We hope it will open doors to work with other further education establishments in similar ways, increasing awareness of the diverse charities we have in Suffolk.”

Nina Hart, business and retail course director, said: “This project will give the students the unique opportunity to utilise their business skills while experiencing the daily challenges faced by retailers.”

The takeover will run from February 26 to March 2.

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