From Nick Miller, manager, Storeroom2010:

AS THE manager/CEO of a well-known Island furniture re-use charity, I feel it is my obligation to draw attention to an increasing hostility towards our charity and the staff who work within.

I am also sure that we are not the only charity suffering this abuse.

On the whole, we enjoy the support the majority of our customers give and we are incredibly grateful.

There are though unfortunately a number of people who are of the impression that we are here to be abused, occasionally within our premises or more often the coward’s way, via social media.

We are accused of jacking up prices, ripping off the customers and living a life of luxury while creaming the profits away for lavish holidays and fine dining.

Our operation has grown over a period of nine years and we now provide employment to ten paid staff and provide work placements and voluntary positions. Along the way we have met some obstacles and the team dynamics can be a challenge from time to time. 

Invariably people get upset and for this we are always concerned and seek to resolve issues to the satisfaction of those concerned where we can.

There is no owner of the charity. We, including myself, are all working members of staff and all accountable to trustees. If any one of us fails to act responsibly, we risk losing our job, just as any employee within any other company.

Every member of our staff is very much committed to the ideals of the charity and agree to work for a minimal wage, although I feel they deserve much better. Our staff are all people who share a concern for our environment and for the betterment of their community.

Each year we face new challenges such as the flood of ridiculously cheap, inferior new goods coming in from other countries, which are available from large chain stores that have recently taken a foothold on the Island.  There are also increases in fuel and general running costs, new government legislation which has forced the need to take on additional staff, and the introduction of a higher minimum wage and company pensions.

Since conception we have made no significant increase to our prices only ever enough to remain viable and to try to protect the future of the charity and its employees, while hopefully making a huge contribution to the preservation of our world’s resources for future generations and at the same time helping those less fortunate on our Island to affordably enjoy the basic needs of modern living.

To those of you who feel we are leeching off the public, living the life of luxury, we are sorry to disappoint you. We are just ordinary working people living on far less than the national average wage, although we can all individually hold our heads high and take satisfaction from the fact that we are doing our bit for the community and for a better world.

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