HARD-HIT residents are opening a new charity shop to help those struggling in the economic climate.
Village Vintage provides clothing and other goods at low prices and was piloted at the end of last year after demand from neighbours living in Easington Lane.
MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson, visited the store. She said: “The welfare reforms are hitting people hard and don’t appear to be taking into account the needs of our most vulnerable members of our community.”
The shop is being run by staff from Easington Lane Community Access Point.
Ms Phillipson added: “I was very pleased to be invited to visit their new Village Vintage charity shop.
“In these hard times, many people are reliant on charity shops for goods such as clothes. Having one here in the Access Point means that residents won’t incur the extra expense of travelling to a shop outside the village.
“I also enjoyed the varied exhibition in their Heritage Centre. The photos and memorabilia on display provide an invaluable insight into the area’s mining heritage, and it is important that we keep that heritage alive.
“The success of the charity shop and the exhibition are a tremendous tribute to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who have helped get this collection together.”
The charity shop was established following a community consultation event. They expressed concerns there was no charity shop in the village, the nearest one being in Houghton.
Susan Brown, from the Access Point, said: “We sell clothes and goods at very low prices. It has encouraged more volunteers and has become a hub for community activity.”