Staff and volunteers at the Derry Red Cross shop were celebrating yesterday as their much‑loved shop re-opened following its recent refurbishment.
The team have been working hard to select the very best stock for their launch day ‑ all conforming to a colourful Valentines’ theme of red, black and white.
Shop manager Dolly Killen promised a special giveaway for the first 50 customers through the door when the shop reopened at 11am.
She said: “People in Derry have always loved this shop and have given us so much support over the years. We’re thrilled to see the shop looking so well after its makeover and can’t wait to get trading again. We’ve got some lovely little heart‑shaped, magnetic photo frames to give our first shoppers as a way of thanking them for their custom. The shop will be filled with 2000 new stock items so it’s the perfect time to come in and hunt for a bargain.”
The red ribbon was cut by Julia Stevenson, who founded the very first Red Cross shop in the city.
Mrs. Stevenson, from Feeny outside Dungiven, was a Red Cross volunteer for over 30 years. She started helping out with the Red Cross hospital meals on wheels in 1978 when her youngest son started school and she was looking for a new challenge. The site of the first shop no longer exists as the area was cleared to make way for redevelopment and the Foyleside shopping centre. The current shop on the Diamond was opened in September 1990, with BBC Radio Foyle’s very own Gerry Anderson officiating.
Other local dignitaries and Red Cross supporters joined staff and volunteers to celebrate the reopening, in this, the 50th year of the Red Cross in Derry.