A new charity shop dedicated to helping children in the townships of South Africa has opened for business in Ilfracombe. The SOS Africa shop at 29 High Street is different from the big national charities and is the direct result of hard work by a universi

A new charity shop dedicated to helping children in the townships of South Africa has opened for business in Ilfracombe.The SOS Africa shop at 29 High Street is different from the big national charities and is the direct result of hard work by a university student, his family and friends.Matthew Crowcombe is aged 23 and studying at Swansea. Following a gap year in South Africa at the age of 18, the Somerset teenager was moved to set up the charity to educate poverty-stricken children and enable them to lift themselves from the townships.Now following a string of fund raising events and help from family, friends and students, the charity is currently supporting 11 youngsters in full time education and has been able to open its first shop.The idea was suggested by Matthew's sister Emma, who lives in Ilfracombe."Emma set it all up and will be running it initially, with more volunteers coming along later," explained Matthew and Emma's mother, Ann Crowcombe."Thank you to all the businesses who have been so amazingly generous with their contributions of fittings and stock."This charity is different to larger ones, because everything people donate goes straight to helping the children."We intend to keep it relatively small so we don't need to start paying administrators or anything like that."The SOS Africa shop is keen to hear from anyone who has items they would be willing to donate, such as clothes, books, CDs and other non-electrical items.Local donations can be collected: Contact Emma on 07786 894117 or visit www.sosafrica.com