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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010
The Stowmarket charity shop & the EACH Treehouse Appeal
By Jon Wright and Andrew Woodger
BBC Suffolk

Volunteer Fran cleaning shelves
Fran in Stowmarket - she's one of 250 volunteers in EACH's shops

The network of EACH charity shops is hoping for a busy year as they work towards the £3m target for the Treehouse Appeal.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices run 10 shops across the region.

The shops are playing a key part in raising money for the project to build a new hospice in Ipswich.

"We do everything we can to take as much as possible in," said Stuart Basten, Stowmarket shop manager. "We'll get something for everything sometime."

Aside from the Treehouse Appeal, in 2010 EACH needed to raise £5.8m to run its hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quidenham.

The shops are a big source of income - retail sales accounted for £850,000.

The shops are in Colchester, Halstead, Attleborough, Diss, Long Stratton, Downham Market, Ipswich, Lowestoft and Stowmarket.

The Stowmarket branch opened in November 2009, seven months after the Lowestoft shop on London Road South opened. EACH aims to have 15 shops by 2013.

EACH Shop manager Stuart Basten
Stuart Basten says the Stowmarket store took 750 on its opening day

"I've been in retail for about 30 years - the last 17 in Stowmarket," said Stuart. "When I left my last job I was thinking about what I was going to do.

"That was great to use my experience for the benefit of something that really needs all the help and support they can get."

Stuart's expertise guides volunteers such as Fran.

"I come once a week, but fill in when needed," said Fran. "I volunteer here because it's a local charity, it's a happy shop and I also get taught about retailing and running a shop professionally."

Computers, clothes and car safety

The mainstay of the shops is clothing, ornaments and books, but they also take larger electrical items and pretty much anything to do with children such as car safety seats and prams.

"We've got a central distribution centre at Thetford, so if one shop's got a lot of stock we'll send it to Thetford and get it re-distributed," said Stuart.

"We do everything we can to take as much as possible in. We don't put any restrictions on - we take absolutely anything.

"And we'll get something for everything sometime!"

The retail support number for EACH is 01842 821620 and house collections can be arranged.

The EACH shop in Stowmarket
EACH's shop in Stowmarket is on Ipswich Street in the town centre

"We need people to sort out all the stuff they've got at home and are not using and bring it in," said Stuart.

"If people have got the time to wash and iron it, then so much the better because the better it's presented the more likely it is to sell.

"Particularly this year, we do need as much help as we can get."

Visit the EACH shops pages on their website for details of your nearest charity shop.

Donate now

To give money, please send a cheque made payable to "EACH Treehouse Appeal" to:

EACH Treehouse Appeal, Epsilon House, West Road, Ipswich, IP3 9FJ

The appeal donation line number is 01473 276116.

Donate online at EACH Treehouse Appeal .

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EACH TREEHOUSE APPEAL

EACH Treehouse Appeal supported by BBC Suffolk EACH Treehouse Appeal
BBC Suffolk is helping East Anglia's Children's Hospices raise the 3million needed to fund a purpose built hospice in Ipswich.
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EACH Treehouse Appeal recording session Audio: EACH's new Treehouse song

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy Mark Murphy and Kevin Burch report on the Treehouse Appeal launch

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