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Lifesaving service wins Charity Retail Association Award

Lifesaving service wins Charity Retail Association Award

The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS) has won an award for the most unusual item donated as part of the Charity Retail Associations awards event.

The Charity Retail Association promotes charitable causes and an environmentally sustainable retail experience and are the primary membership association for charity shops in the UK. The awards event has a range of categories to highlight the many successes of the charity retail sector, and TAAS are pleased to scoop a prize.

The Air Ambulance Service operates the local Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA), Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA), as well as the national Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA).

Funding from the charity’s 56 retail stores provides an invaluable income source for the lifesaving service. A range of items are regularly donated to TAAS’ charity shops across the UK. The item that won them the award for the most unusual item donated was a Little Umi Reborn Baby Orangutan Doll, which had been donated to the Rugeley Store. This was sold online and raised a total of £43.00 – raising vital funds to support the charity.

Hannah Cole, Retail Operations, Projects & Ecommerce Manager for the charity said: “When working within charity retail, no two days are the same. Especially when sorting through our customer donations and finding treasures to sell through our online platforms. When receiving the baby orangutan, our Rugeley store was surprised and ‘went bananas’ when they researched the income, they could generate for the charity by selling this item online.

“Our charity is always looking for the best ways to sell our quirky donations to generate the maximum income for the charity and we would like to thank everyone who continues to donate their preloved items to us.”

Chief Executive of Charity Retail Association, Robin Osterley. Added: “Each year we give an award for the most unusual item donated to a charity shop to celebrate the strange and wonderful donations that charity shops receive. This year’s nominations included a kangaroo’s scrotum pouch, a full-size orangerie greenhouse and a bag of alpaca wool.

“The standout winner was a realistic-looking baby orangutan doll favoured by doll collectors. You never know what treasures you might find with such a variety of items on sale in charity shops.”

Not only did the charity win an award, but TAAS’ interim Director of Retail, Jayne Cartwright’s consultancy business – Charity Retail Consultancy – also took home an award for Supplier of the Year (Category A). The consultancy was established by Jayne in 2010 to help charities develop and improve their retail and trading offer.

Jayne has had an extensive career in charity retail with vast experience, knowledge, and determination to bring about positive change for the consultancy’s clients, and had this to say on the award:

“Along with my consultancy colleagues, I was honoured and delighted to have won the prestigious award of Supplier of the Year for the second consecutive year, at the Charity Retail Association awards this week.

“It means such a lot to be recognised by the sector we love, and are proud to play our part in. I was delighted to see The Air Ambulance Service also scooping the award for the most unusual item donated.”

The awards start an exciting year for TAAS as the charity celebrates its 20th anniversary of lifesaving service across Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, 15th anniversary of service across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, and its 10th anniversary for the Children’s Air Ambulance.