A CHARITY shop in Alloa last week celebrated one year of operations, supporting a Clacks good cause.

The Gate, which has been supporting the Wee County through a variety of food and school uniform projects in the past 10 years, last week marked the one-year anniversary of the opening of its charity shop at Shillinghill.

The shop has gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months, originally opening part-time but recently moving to a full Monday to Friday schedule.

Caroline Turato, one of the managers at the shop, marked the one-year anniversary with staff on Wednesday, June 8.

She told the Advertiser: “The interest in the shop has been increasing so we had to open it five days, which is a great sign, a great way forward.

“We need avenues to raise funds so we can do what we do with The Gate Charity.

“It is a venue and outlet to fundraise, but also, it's giving people things at very low cost – that's actually needed in the community as well.”

Indeed, with the cost of living crisis biting, the charity shop which sells a variety of household and other items has been proving invaluable for many.

At the same time, the shop raises funds for The Gate's flagship projects, such as its foodbank which saw referrals skyrocket during the pandemic.

Caroline said: “At the moment, people just can't afford electricity and gas, they can get something in here that maybe cost £10 but they are getting it for £1 and they are delighted.

“We are helping people on lower incomes and we are fundraising for the bigger picture of the charity which is helping the vulnerable and the homeless in the community.”

Growing from a soup pot project, which still runs today, The Gate now operates a community café, foodbank, starter packs for people starting tenancies, and during the pandemic, it also started a meals-on-wheels type project along with a lunch club for overs 65s.

Caroline added: “It's nice to see the charity expanding, [but] it's a shame because it shows that local people do need us, we are filling a gap.”

The shop is well supported by volunteers, but more are always welcome and people looking to help out can ask in the shop or contact The Gate on social media.

Donations for the shop are also always sought, new and quality second hand goods are welcome.

The shop is located from across the bus station under 12 Shillinghill and is open during weekdays.