Downton Abbey star to open Hitchin charity vegan shop

Yvonne Sibbald, Ros Saunders, Naomi Green, (manager), Tracie Hook and Kim Wheeler

Yvonne Sibbald, Ros Saunders, Naomi Green, (manager), Tracie Hook and Kim Wheeler - Credit: Archant

History will be made this weekend with the opening of a charity shop by a Downton Abbey star – by stocking only vegan goods.

Yvonne Sibbald, Ros Saunders, Naomi Green, (manager), Tracie Hook and Kim Wheeler

Yvonne Sibbald, Ros Saunders, Naomi Green, (manager), Tracie Hook and Kim Wheeler - Credit: Archant

Peter Egan, who played the Marquess of Flintshire in the hit show, will be opening the doors to The Dr Hadwen Trust – the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity – at 16 Churchyard tomorrow – to sell items not derived from animals.

Dr Kay Miller of the Dr Hadwen Trust said: “We fund innovative, cutting-edge medical research which replaces animals traditionally used in research. Having a presence on the high street will help raise the profile of the DHT, and make people aware cruelty-free medical research is possible.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve received so far. Just four weeks ago we started a crowdfunding campaign to help the shop fit, and more than 300 people made pledges which helped us smash our fundraising target.

“From the beginning we wanted our shop to break the usual charity-shop mould, while ensuring the design was sympathetic to Hitchin’s historic Churchyard.


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“We’ve achieved this with the help of 50 of the good people of Hitchin whose opinions helped create the sign design, and Paul Myerscough of Bespoke Signs who brought the design to life.

“As we were keen to use local trades people, our building work was completed by Beckham Installations of Hitchin – with Matt Beckham even donating a fridge for the shop. Other businesses such as Travis Perkins and Edmundson Electrics have donated sanitary ware, kitchen units, lights and light fittings. Marks and Spencer donated mannequins – with a number of vegan businesses donating brand new products for us to sell.

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“It’s been a humbling experience – especially meeting the volunteers who have committed to working in our shop.

“Hitchin is fortunate to have so many decent, caring, generous people who are willing to give up their time in support of a great cause.”

Dr Hadwen Trust’s first charity shop will open at 3pm on Saturday.

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