Age NI Carrickfergus shop 'will not reopen'
Age NI’s Carrickfergus branch will not reopen, it has been confirmed.
The shop on West Street has been continuously closed since the introduction of public health restrictions last March.
Manager, Kevin Wilson said lockdown was the “final nail” in the coffin for the shop.
He added: “As there weren’t the same Covid restrictions on the first lockdown, I would meet people at the shop to take in donations.
“It got to the point that the shop was crammed full. When retail got the go ahead to reopen, I couldn’t but went in, sorted through the donations and fed stock out to our other shops.”
At one time, the store had three additional paid staff members, as well as 30 volunteers , some of whom were taking part in various courses and work schemes.
“The shop had been earmarked for closure about six years ago,” said Mr Wilson, who continues to work for the charity at its distribution hub in Belfast.
“We put a case forward to have it kept open and the charity changed their mind. Due to the decrease in footfall in Carrickfergus town centre it had been a struggle, but the long-term impact of lockdown was the final nail.
“I’d like to thank customers and those who donated stock to us. I got to know some of them quite well over the years.”
A post on the AGE NI Carrickfergus Facebook page read: “It is with regret that we will not be reopening the Carrickfergus Age NI shop.
“Any donations or queries please message or contact Age NI 02890245729.”