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 234,000 volunteers nationwide. Charity retail promotes charitable causes and an environmentally sustainable retail experience.
We the only body in the United Kingdom that represents the interests of charity retailers. Our members run more than 8,900 shops between them.
Shop for the Future: our three-year strategic plan (2017-2020)
Download [pdf format] our three-year strategy: Shop for the Future.
It sets out our intentions over the next few years and sets them into the context of the charity retail scene. Feel free to distribute it as widely as you wish.
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
- Effective lobbying and public relations on behalf of our members on key issues including Gift Aid improvements, correct waste charging, donated stock supply
- Promoting good practice and increased public support for charity retailing
- Carry out and commission research, market analysis, guidance and information about charity retailing
- Host the Charity Retail Conference, Exhibition and Awards
- Offer training opportunities and support
- Host active special interest groups and networking opportunities
- Provide an online discussion forum
- Offer free advice lines covering legal matters and security
Who we are
Board of Directors
- Steve Biddle – Consultant
- David Borrett – Sue Ryder
- Julie Byard – Cancer Research UK
- Sarah Coles – The Hospice of St Francis
- Dan Corns – St Richard’s Hospice
- John Egan – Naomi House Children’s Hospice
- Lorna Fallon – Cats Protection
- Jay Hogarty – Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland
- David Longmore – Barnardo’s
- Emma Peake – The Air Ambulance Service
- Graham Richardson – Ashgate Hospice
- Allison Swaine-Hughes – British Heart Foundation
- Anne Webb (Chair) – Oxfam GB
Chief Executive Officer
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
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.
Communications and Digital Manager
Mark joined us in July 2017 to manage our communications and media relations, plus promote a positive reputation for the charity retail sector in various forms of media. He has more than 15 years of experience in media and communications, working mostly in the sporting and not-for-profit sectors.
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.
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 and Research
Matt joined us in August 2015 to head up the Association’s policy and advocacy work on behalf of its members. He has significant experience of policy making having previously served as a researcher and advisor on small business policy in Parliament and a policy officer in local government.Matt graduated with a first in Politics from the University of Nottingham and has an MA in Political Communication at City University London.
Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Member Services
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.