A Bideford charity shop will celebrate a very special anniversary next week when it marks a quarter of a century of fund-raising. The Barnardo s store in the town centre first opened in 1984, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and has since gener

A Bideford charity shop will celebrate a very special anniversary next week when it marks a quarter of a century of fund-raising.

The Barnardo's store in the town centre first opened in 1984, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and has since generated more than a quarter of a million pounds in support of disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

To celebrate its success, staff and volunteers will cut a specially decorated cake at the High Street premises next Wednesday at 12.45pm.

Alex Smart joined the shop as a volunteer 11 years ago and has been the manager for 10 years, leading a team of 15 volunteers aged from their teens to their 80s.

He said: "We are delighted to celebrate such an important milestone, which is a tribute to the people of Bideford and the surrounding villages.

"After all, our success has only been made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors, the support of shoppers and the hard work of our loyal volunteers.

"We always offer a warm welcome to anyone interested in joining our friendly team for a few hours a week. We appreciate every contribution."

Barnardo's area business manager Belinda Germain said: "We are sincerely grateful to each and every person who has supported the shop over the years.

"Thanks to their goodwill, we can continue our important work with children who are challenged by poverty, abuse, disability and discrimination.

"Last year Barnardo's South West supported more than 14,000 children and young people from every part of the region.

"But all of this work comes at a cost. That is why our network of local shops is so important."

The team always welcomes donations of good quality clothes, books, toys, games and other goods. The Bideford shop is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm.

Call 01237 475121 or email alex.smart@barnardos.org.uk