We are the primary membership organisation for charity shops in the United Kingdom. We do not own or run charities or charity shops, if you need to find your local charity shop, then please use our find a charity shop search.
The charity retail sector generates more than £295m 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.
We are the only body in the United Kingdom that represents the interests of charity retailers. Our UK members run over 8700 shops between them.
Shop for the Future: our three-year strategic plan (2017-2020)
Download our three-year strategy: Shop for the Future [pdf format].
We work to:
- Influence and monitor legislation and regulations that affect charity retailing.
- Promote the benefits of charity retailing to the environment, the community and to charity.
- Be the major source of expertise and up-to-date information on issues affecting the charity retail sector.
- Promote good practice.
- Work closely 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
- Carry out effective lobbying and public relations on key issues including Gift Aid, waste charging and donated stock supply
- Promote best practice, through assured guidance, and increased public support, through campaigns, for charity retailing
- Carry out and commission research, such as market analysis and specialist reports for bench-marking and informing decision-makers, our members and the public
- Host the Charity Retail Conference, Exhibition and Awards
- Offer training opportunities and support
- Host active interest groups and networking opportunities
- Provide an online discussion forum
- Provide access to legal advice, mentoring and helpful in-shop resources
Our Board of Directors
- Steve Biddle – Consultant
- David Borrett – Sue Ryder
- Sarah Coles – The Hospice of St Francis
- Dan Corns – St Richard’s Hospice
- Lorna Fallon – Cats Protection
- Jay Hogarty – Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland
- David Longmore – Barnardo’s
- Jo Mewett – Cancer Research UK
- Emma Peake – The Air Ambulance Service
- Graham Richardson – Ashgate Hospice
- Allison Swaine-Hughes – British Heart Foundation
- Anne Webb (Chair) – Oxfam GB
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.
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.
Head of Events
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.