We are the primary membership association for charity shops in the UK.
Our sector generates more than £330m surplus funds per year from more than a billion pounds of turnover, and harnesses the skills of more than 233,000 volunteers nationwide. Charity retail promotes charitable causes and an environmentally sustainable retail experience.
Our UK members run around 9000 shops between them.
We work to:
- Influence and monitor legislation and regulations that affect charity retail
- Promote the benefits of charity retail to the environment, the community and to charity
- Be the major source of expertise and information on issues affecting charity retail
- Promote good practice
- Work with other relevant organisations to support our members
A successful charity retail sector in the UK, actively promoted and supported by the Charity Retail Association.
What we do
- Lobby on key issues including Gift Aid, waste charging and donated stock supply
- Provide a sense of community and collaboration both online and through a comprehensive schedule of events
- Promote best practice through policy guidance, mentoring and other practical resources
- Increase public support for charity retail through campaigns
- Carry out and commission research, such as market analysis and specialist reports for bench-marking and informing decision-makers, our members and the public
- Provide training and learning opportunities
Our board of directors
- Karen Bilsby – Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People
- Ruth Blayze – Scope
- Sarah Coles – The Hospice of St Francis
- Susan Cooper – Highland Hospice
- Lorna Fallon – Oxfam GB
- Jane Flannery – British Heart Foundation
- Chris Jestico – Salvation Army Trading Company
- Sophie Lea – St John’s Hospice Shops
- David Longmore (Vice Chair) – Barnardo’s
- Francis McAllister – St George’s Crypt
- Karen McKenzie – Douglas Macmillan Hospice
- Jo Mewett – Cancer Research UK
- Emma Peake (Chair) – The Air Ambulance Service
Robin joined us as Chief Executive in November 2015. After an early career in IT, he moved into the third sector and has more than 20 years experience of running membership organisations with a charitable purpose, including sports campaigning organisation Supporters’ Direct and the largest arts umbrella group in the country, Making Music. He has sat on numerous Government committees and forums, and does a great deal of local volunteering in his “spare” time.
Membership and Events Officer
Alex joined us in February 2018 as Events Officer to provide maternity cover for Julia Cloke and is now a permanent member of the team. He holds a BA (Hons) Degree from the University of Winchester. He has previously worked in events management, overseeing the delivery of training courses across the United Kingdom for more than four years.
Public Affairs and Communications Officer (Scotland)
Rachel joined us in September 2018 to support the charity retail sector in Scotland through lobbying, communications, and relationships with key partners. She has experience across private and public sector services including in the Scottish Parliament. Rachel also holds a MA (Hons) degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh.
Rachel is currently on maternity leave.
Olaia Alamos Castresana
Head of Research
Olaia joined us in November 2015 to lead our research programme, which keeps members informed and helps them benchmark performance, whilst also supporting our public affairs and policy work. She has experience working with not-for-profit organisations and commercial retailers. She holds a BA(Hons) Business Administration from the University of the Basque Country and an MSc in International Fashion Marketing from Heriot-Watt University.
Olaia is currently on maternity leave.
Head of Outreach
Julia joined us in May 2015 to organise and develop the training and events programme. Previously she worked at Diabetes UK organising residential events for children with Type 1 diabetes. She also worked as part of the wider team to deliver their annual professional conference. Prior to this, she was responsible for events at a small educational charity where she organised training days, awards ceremonies and their flagship conference.
Head of Finance
Dorothy joined us in August 2016 to manage and report on the Association’s finances. She has an extensive background in finance and has previously held positions in management accounting, project finance, fixed asset accounting as well as treasury in various industries including the not-for-profit sector.
Head of Public Affairs
Jonathan joined us in August 2019 to lead our policy and public affairs work. He was previously the Chief Campaigns Officer at the Campaign for Real Ale where he worked on successful campaigns to reduce taxation on beer and pubs, improve planning protection for pubs and securing new legal rights for publicans. He also worked as a MP's researcher in Parliament and studied British Politics and Legislative Studies at the University of Hull.
Deputy Chief Executive
Susan has looked after charity member services for us since July 2005, and after a variety of responsibilities, including the website, IT, and finance, she is now responsible for member services covering charities and corporate. Susan looks forward to expanding membership further, developing members services and bringing the Association to a wider audience.
Irina joined us in February 2018 to offer support to our Member Services and Events planning and is now part of the research team. She holds a BA (Hons) Degree in English and Spanish Philology and a Masters Degree in Human Resources. She has previously worked in retail banking and event co-ordination.
Yasmyn recently joined us to strengthen communication channels with our members and the public. She has extensive marketing and communications experience within the charity sector and is passionate about championing public engagement. Yasmyn holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management and enjoys undertaking fitness challenges to raise funds for good causes.
Yasmyn is currently on maternity leave.
Communications Manager (maternity cover)
Rosie is a marketing professional with extensive experience across various marketing projects focused on revenue improvement, market share and profit optimisation. She has experience in setting successful digital marketing and communications strategies with a track record of lead generation, high engagement rates and client acquisition.
She has worked with some of the largest corporate clients in the finance sector, legal sector, education sector as well as visitor attractions and event venues where she focused on communications, digital marketing and automation software implementation.