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Latest News

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  • Lift programme

    The Association has been approached by the Welsh Government on a new programme to support workless households, the Lift programme, to see whether charity shops can get involved.
    >> Read more here

  • MP polling

    In July, we commissioned a sample polling of 100 MPs from across the political parties to gauge their views on charity shops. 83% of MPs have a positive or very positive view of charity shops. Over 80% of them have donated to a local shop in the past 12 months.

  • CRA Meeting: Northern Ireland

    This meeting is to be held on Wednesday 22 October in Belfast. Full agenda available and booking now open.
    >> Go to the events page

  • AGM and Exhibition

    This meeting, for members only, is to be held on Wednesday 5 November in London. The full agenda is now available.
    >> Go to the events page

  • Half price membership
    Not been a member of the CRA before? To mark the half way point of the membership year, we offer half price membership to those who want a taster of what CRA membership is all about. Take advantage of an inspiring events agenda, our dedicated lobbying and media resources, guidance, benchmarking reports and more, to find out how we can help you make the most of your charity retail operation. >> Read more
  • Chief Executive of the CRA to retire January 2015
    On 30 June the CRA announced that Warren Alexander, will retire in January 2015. Over the past five years his leadership has led the Charity Retail Association through key changes, reached record levels of membership and made the CRA the key sector body for charity retailers.
    Ben Merrett, Chair of the CRA Board paid tribute, saying "Warren has made an outstanding contribution to the CRA and the sector as a whole. He has overseen a modernisation of the CRA, achieved record growth in membership numbers and secured important wins in government for all charity retailers." The recruitment process for a new Chief Executive will commence shortly.

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CRA members pilot social value measurement

We are working with members to help them measure the social value they bring to local communities and high streets. Five charities are in the process of piloting exciting new projects – which are looking at diverse issues including the impact their shops have on the health, wellbeing and skills of volunteers; environmental benefits; and how their shops contribute to high street regeneration. The five charities involved in this first stage of the pilot are the British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent, PDSA, Shaw Trust and The Trussell Trust.

We hope this work will form the basis of a Social Value Toolkit for members, as recommended by the Demos report Giving Something Back. We aim to share the results of these projects with members in 2015, so that other charities will be able to learn from the experience of the pilots and conduct their own social benefit measurement.

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Town centre renewal research

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This month we held a joint seminar with the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) to bring together town centre managers, BID representatives and charities in order to present the findings of new research and discuss ways in which we can collectively facilitate these important relationships to benefit high streets and town centres. With 10,000 charity shops in the UK, they are major players on the UK high street.

The Charity Retail Association-conducted survey found that the majority of charities were involved with high street renewal already in one way or another – with the top ways of being involved being Business Improvement Districts (28 per cent of charities involved) and local traders’ associations (27 per cent of charities).

15 per cent were involved in chambers of commerce and 1 in 10 with other more informal initiatives. 83 per cent of charities wanted their shops to be involved in supporting their local town centres.

Attendees at the meeting discussed how they could further raise awareness among charities about town centre renewal initiatives in their area and how to get involved – and also how charity shops, town centre managers and BIDs could best work together in partnership for the benefit of the high street.