After a fantastic first time of hosting our flagship annual conference at Harrogate Convention Centre in September 2022 we were delighted to return to Harrogate in June 2023 with the theme of People First Retail.

View the People First Retail brochure here

Thank you to our amazing Headline Sponsors for 2023!

NisystChoice TextileEproductive
Mina logoCybertillfortune
ShopiagoMinaCybertillFortune Eximports

Keynote speakers

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Age UK opened our conference this year with a keynote address on Putting charity retail at the heart of charity.

Charity retail is back on the front foot. How do we keep it there in the eyes of Trustees, senior leaders and local colleagues? I’ll draw from my experiences as Chief Executive of two charities which have a significant retail presence-Mind and Age UK.

Before joining Age UK, Paul was Chief Executive Officer of Mind, a position he had held since 2006.

Catherine Johnstone CBE

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Voluntary Service talked about Volunteering post-pandemic: trends, challenges and opportunities.

She discussed what we learnt about volunteering during the pandemic, what lessons we should play forward, and set out the current state of play for volunteering in 2023 and beyond.

Pre-conference social, Tuesday 27 June, 7pm, Manahatta

On the evening before conference attendees were invited to a dynamic panel discussion featuring sustainable fashion influencers and experts. Kavita Donkersley, Dani Hawkes, and Paula Brannigan shared their experiences, insights, and passion for sustainable fashion. They discussed topics such as the importance of shopping second-hand, personal style transformations, and the positive impact of sustainable fashion on the community. The panelists showcased their own curated wardrobes, demonstrating how they incorporate sustainable fashion into their personal style. Attendees got a firsthand look at creative and stylish outfits created from second-hand finds and upcycled pieces they submitted for last year’s Thrift Off – and got the opportunity to participate in the event by dressing up in their best charity shop outfits. The panelists selected the best-dressed participant, who received a special prize. See photos from the event here.

Further information

If you are a company interested in becoming a corporate member of the association and/or would like information about sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at Conference 2024 please contact Anna Pashley, Corporate Partnerships Manager on

You can look back at the highlights from Conference 2023 here.