Help Friends of Mulanje Orphans open a charity shop in South Ribble

A charity which supports vulnerable children in Malawi needs your help in opening a shop in the South Ribble area.

Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 11:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:43 am
Emma Whitlock in Malawi volunteering with FOMO

Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO), which was set up by Mary and Keith Woodward in Walmer Bridge, is looking to launch a charity shop to help fund its work in providing a daily meal, clothing, health care and education for children in Malawi.

The charity needs around £10,000 to get started and has set up a Crowdfunding page.

Emma Whitlock, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “The funds that are required to continue our work are raised by volunteers and supporters of FOMO.

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Trustees and volunteers of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO)

“One year’s basic running costs are around £80,000, so it’s no small feat raising this amount each year and more for any additional projects.

“To support this huge fund-raising challenge and to create a hub for the our activities, we have decided to set up our very first charity shop.

“We have stalls at a lot of galas and we get a lot of clothes and items donated to us.

“We send a container of goods out to villages in Malawi, but some items are not suitable but could be sold here to raise funds.

Trustees and volunteers of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO)

“So we want a permanent shop to act as a hub and raise more funds.

“Opening a charity shop promises so many exciting opportunities for FOMO but it doesn’t happen overnight. Trustees agreed to the setting up of a Community Interest Company to run the shop, which has five directors.

“They have produced a detailed business plan with cost forecasts over three years. They have established that £10,000 is needed in order to set up the shop and cover running costs for the first three months of operations while the shop becomes established.

“These initial set up costs would be used to take a lease on a retail unit, buy essential items like a till, safe, fixtures and fittings, and cover initial running costs, including a shop manager salary and utility bills.

“It is projected that after the setup period of three months the shop will be self-sustaining and any surplus generated will be donated directly to FOMO.”

The 30-year-old began volunteering with FOMO in 2006 and has spent two three-month trips supporting children in Malawi.

She added: “I have had first-hand experience of what they do on the ground and I see how the work we do affects people in the community.”

The charity hopes to open the shop in Longton, or elsewhere in South Ribble.

FOMO has been working in Malawi since 2000 and has established 14 day care centres, currently caring for more than 3,500 children in need.