Woodside Animal Centre’s ambassador Barrie Stephen officially opened their new charity shop in Coalville’s town centre last Friday.

Top hairdresser Barrie, one of Leicestershire’s best known entrepreneurs, marked the occasion with a red ribbon cutting at the new shop in Belvoir Road.

Building on the popularity of the charity’s three existing shops across Leicestershire, the aim of the new store is not only to provide a quality shopping experience and raise vital funds to support the animal centre’s rehabilitation programmes but to also act as a community office for the charity where people can find out more information about the work Woodside do and how to get involved.

The animal re-homing centre, which is also the Leicestershire branch of the RSPCA, invited shoppers to take part in a raffle and other fun activities at the store opening, and provided them with food and drink.

The opening is just one of a series of events marking the animal centres 40th anniversary (at its current location on Scudamore Rd). Barrie Stephen was joined at the official opening by Charity and Commercial Manager Gary Wheway and the new store’s Manager, Chrissie Noble.

Gary said: “We are all very excited. It is the first time we have had a presence in this area, and having a shop here will help raise money for the thousands of sick and mistreated animals that come into our centre every year. In the first few hours of opening we have already had lots of customers popping in to have a look around.”

Available in store is a wide selection of clothes including men’s, women’s, and children’s. There is also an array of entertainment media on offer such as CDs, DVDs, books, vinyl records. Unlike Woodside’s other shops Coalville will also sell electricals and small furnishings.

Store opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday.

Woodside Animal Centre relies entirely on public donations, fundraising events and money generated from its charity shops to provide care for thousands of sick and neglected animals every year.

Celebrations to mark the charity’s 40th anniversary are helping to raise the profile of its work and attract funds which are vital as the number of dogs, cats and small animals coming into the centre is increasing year on year. In August, the charity raised more than £7,000 for animals in need with Pet Fest, its biggest ever gala day, at the animal rehoming centre in Scudamore Road, Leicester. @Woodside_leics @barriestephen