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Members' log-in

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Latest News

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  • New Chief Executive

    Today, (5 January) Martin Blackwell took over as the new Chief Executive of the CRA. Martin joins from the Association of Town & City Management, where he has been Chief Executive since 2010. He looks forward to working in such a dynamic sector and getting back to his retail roots.

  • CRA Meeting: North

    Report now available. Presentations can be downloaded by CRA members.
    >>Read here

  • Sale!

    Setting Up and Running Charity Shops £10 for CRA members; £15 for non-members.
    >>Buy your copy here

  • CRA meeting schedule 2015 now complete

    For important dates for your diary, please see our Events page.

  • Conference 2015 dates announced!

    29 and 30 June 2015, Keele University

  • Gift Aid

    HMRC has published some research this week on ‘understanding donor behaviour’. The report covers how Gift Aid is understood, how decisions around Gift Aid are made, how to present Gift Aid, and how to explain Gift Aid.

  • New Policy Guidance launched

    New, authoritative and professionally written guidance on all aspects of running charity shops is being launched by the CRA and will only be available to members. The on-line information, covering everything from security to people management, will replace the handbook that the CRA used to give to members.
    >> View the guidance here (username and password required)

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Quick links

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Unwanted Christmas Gifts? Take them to your local Charity Shops

As the last of the mince pies are eaten and the tinsel comes down, it is time to think about what to do with the gifts that you received that may not be what you put on your list to Santa.

Almost two out of three people receive a Christmas gift they do not like, but many are too polite to ask for it to be exchanged for something else. These gifts amount to more than £2.7 bn, so rather than throwing them away or letting them collect dust at the back of the cupboard, take them down to your local charity shop today.

Shops will accept donations of everything from candles, Christmas jumpers, socks, games, handbags, books, DVDs and other items people no longer want.
You will be clearing out some much needed space, helping support a good cause and saving face with your great aunt.

To find your nearest charity shop, please use our Find a Charity Shop locator.

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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.

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Charity Retail Awards 2015  

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Here are some **brand new categories and some old favourites - so get your thinking caps on!

Young Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer of the Year

Innovation in Charity Retailing

Best use of Technology **

Specialist Shop of the Year **

The Profit Awards

Shop Team of the Year

Retail Staff Member of the Year

Supplier of the Year

Most Valuable Item donated to a charity shop

Community Impact **

Most Outstanding Charity Retailer **

The Awards brochure and entry form, complete with entry criteria, will be sent out with renewals in February 2015.

>>Watch this space and see last year's winners here