Keswick has been home to Oxfam’s most profitable charity shop in Britain for several years – and now the busy fund-raising store has earned another national accolade.
Housed in Museum Square, the award-winning venue was named number one in the UK in a competition to find the charity shop with the best window display last year.
Judges in the visual merchandising contest loved the eye-catching blue and white design featuring a selection of china and a matching dress created by Pat Royall, who has been a volunteer at Keswick Oxfam for the last 14 years.
“It’s nice to be recognised like that,” said Pat, 68, who ran her own electricity business in the north east before moving to Keswick when she retired.
“It’s quite funny because I knew nothing about the competition. Almost everything in the window was donated to the shop. There were plates, glasses. It was really a case of working with what you have got and trying to make it look good.
“Blue and white is a universal combination which looks good. The thing that probably made it was the dress. It just so happened that we had a blue and white one which pulled it all together,” added the keen walker, who lives in Station Road.
The window display certainly did the trick as all the items in it have since been sold, several being snapped up within a couple of days.
It also clinched number one slot in a list of the 2020 top 20 charity shop window displays in a competition run by the Charity Shop VM (Visual Merchandising) website.
Pat said she really enjoyed being lead homewares volunteer at Keswick Oxfam, adding: “It is great if you’ve got a few hours spare, especially for meeting people if you are new to the area.
“You get to know a lot of what goes on in the town and you’re doing something worthwhile, raising money for people in the Third World who really need it, even more so with COVID-19.”
Her effort was warmly welcomed by Keswick Oxfam shop manager Julia Wilmott, who said: “It looked really good and is a great example of what our volunteers can do creatively as part of the team here.
“We are an entrepreneurial hub and it really is what you make of it as a team.
“I’d like to thank all the volunteers in the shop and to those that haven’t been able to return yet due to COVID, new and old, say a massive thank you for their dedication.