Animal Free Research UK has taken the difficult decision to close our charity shops in Hitchin and Hove.
The shops were opened to diversify our income and raise awareness of the charity and our vision to replace animals in medical research. In late 2017, we carried out an independent review to ensure that the shops were still helping us to meet our objectives.
Unfortunately, this concluded that the shops are no longer sustainable. The challenges presented by the current retail environment have meant we have not been able to generate the income required to keep going, despite the tireless work of our brilliant staff and volunteers.
Our Hitchin shop will close in mid-June, and our Hove shop will close early April 2018. We will continue to sell donated items online via our eBay shop.
It hasn’t been an easy decision, but ultimately we need to make sure we are using supporters’ donations in the best way possible.
As the leading UK charity funding animal replacement research and techniques, we are innovative in our approach. We opened the first vegan charity shops for a national charity in the country, working with a range of different people and partners within our communities. But ultimately this isn’t enough.
With nearly 4 million animals used in medical research each year in the UK, we are committed to using our limited resources to raise donations in most cost-effective way, and ensuring we spend charitable donations where they are most needed and where we can have the most impact.
We are proud of our brilliant staff and volunteers who have been at the forefront of raising awareness in our shops. They have given their time and their hearts because they’re passionate about ending medical experiments on animals. We are so grateful for their dedication and hard work.
We will continue to innovate as we strive to grow our income so that we can fund more humane and human-relevant medical research. We are excited about the next step in our journey and look forward to sharing with you all the next stages of our plans.
Thank you to all the customers who have come through our doors in both shops and have bought and donated goods. We rely on the support of our donors, supporters and volunteers, and could not achieve our ambitious vision for animals without your help.
Our Hove shop will close its doors on 26th March and our Hitchin shop on the 9th June.
If you have any questions about the shop closures, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01462 436 819.
16 Churchyard, Hitchin, SG5 1HR
Out of hours emergency number: 05603844982
69 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YD