Cromer’s new Sue Ryder shop opened today with queues outside

Thelma Yates officially opens the new Sue Ryder shop in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale

Thelma Yates officially opens the new Sue Ryder shop in Cromer. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Anticipation was at fever pitch for the opening of the new Sue Ryder charity shop in Cromer today.

Staff and volunteers had spent the last few weeks turning the former Cromer Shopping Centre in Garden Street into the national healthcare charity's latest store, and a queue of people waited outside in the cold for the official opening.

The shop will sell white goods, good quality second-hand furniture, clothing, books, CDs and DVDs.

Thelma Yates, 89, who has worked at the Sheringham High Street Sue Ryder shop for more than 34 years, officially cut the ribbon.

She said: 'I hope this new shop will be successful, as it's for such a worthwhile cause. I wish all the staff the best.

'I started at the Sheringham store after I retired. I lost my husband soon after we moved to Sheringham, and I wanted to do something.'

Jo Panks, retail area manager, said: 'We took about two-and-a-half weeks to do the shop up. We have five paid staff and 15 volunteers, but we are always looking for more.

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'There has been a lot of anticipation for this opening. We were evicted, along with a Cancer research shop, from Church Street in August, to make way for the Costa Coffee coming to Cromer.

'We have about 20 shops in Norfolk. Three are big superstores in King's Lynn, Downham Market and Fakenham. This is a medium-sized store.'

The satellite shop manager, who just wanted to be known as Alison, was also in charge at the previous shop in Church Street. She has been with the charity for seven years and said she was delighted with the turn-out for the opening.

'I would like to thank our wonderful volunteers,' she said.

Proceeds from the shop will support Sue Ryder's care at its seven hospices across the UK.

The charity provides compassionate care to people with end of life and long-term needs. Originally called the Sue Ryder Foundation and more recently Sue Ryder Care, the charity was founded in 1953 by Sue Ryder, with the creation of a nursing home in Suffolk.