The Charity Retail Association has recognised local HIV charity Wandsworth Oasis with the “Innovation in Charity Retailing” award.
The prize was handed out at the Charity Retail Conference last week where over 140 shops from across the country were represented.
Gill Perkins, CEO of Wandsworth Oasis, said: “As a small local charity it is a big deal to have won a national award, particularly one for Innovation in Charity Retailing, We are thrilled! It’s a real tribute to the hard work of the staff and volunteers at our Amen Corner shop in Tooting and we’d like to say a big thank you to all the local residents and businesses who have supported our events.”
The Wandsworth Oasis store in Amen Corner, Tooting which opened in September last year is 4,000 square metres, the largest out of 6 shops across the borough and with so much space Gill and her team have been using it in a variety of ways to bring the community together in a series of events.
It all began with the Upfest Fashion Show a month after the store opened celebrating the recycling and reuse of clothing donations, a Lebanese evening followed where the shop was turned into a souk then a wine tasting night and local artists exhibition. These are just some of the events which have transformed the shop into a exciting place for the community to come together.
An urban regeneration project funded by Art’s Council England, called The Streets is returning to Amen Corner this year after a hugely successful weekend in 2015 when Jazz music was played inside the store
Sales were up 17% over the weekend of The Streets festival but the main benefit was to how many people who had never visited the shop before, came back to shop and donate.
Gill Perkins was asked to present her innovative ideas to the Charity Retail Conference and a group of shops in Northern Ireland will be visiting the Oasis stores later this year to learn how Wandsworth Oasis achieves such success.