The biggest charity shop in the country has been launched in Preston.
Homelessness charity Emmaus Preston has opened a megastore in the former B&Q building in Brookfield Street, covering more than 40,000 square feet.
The shop, launched this week as part of Recycling Week, will stock furniture, white goods, household items, clothes and bric-a-brac.
Damien, 29, who now lives and works at Emmaus Preston, said the charity saved him from the brink homelessness after he fell behind with rent payments and struggled with drug issues.
He said: “Emmaus is helping me with my drug issues, so I am addressing that, and I have the stability of somewhere to live and work, and people to talk to every day.” He described the Emmaus Preston Megastore as a “really good venture”, and said it was run in conjunction with other branches which sent stock to sell on their behalf.
He said: “Personally, it’s given me a bit more confidence about myself, I’ve come to realise I’m capable of more than I thought I was.”
Damien added: “It was incredibly hard work to get everything ready for opening the megastore but now we have, we’re glad it has come off.
“It’s a good idea to bring together the work of multiple Emmaus communities in one site and I’m excited for the future.”
Stephen Buchanan, director of Emmaus Preston, said: “Our new megastore in Preston will provide work to the formerly homeless people we support, generate an income to support Emmaus Preston and give people the chance to buy great value items for their home.
“Our team of companions (the people we support), local volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly to get everything ready and we’re delighted to have the doors open for Recycle Week 2016.”