Skip to navigation Skip to search

Town Mayor Opens New Charity Shop in Hailsham

Mayor's Press Releases

Photo of the official opening of the Raystede shop in Vicarage Field 

The Mayor of Hailsham, Councillor Paul Holbrook, took part in a special ceremony to mark the opening of the new Raystede charity shop in the town centre recently.

Cllr Holbrook joined CEO Stephanie Smith, along with staff and volunteers of Raystede, a charity which has been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals for over 70 years.

The new shop, located at 41 Vicarage Field (opposite the war memorial) is one of a series of shops operated by Raystede, selling clothes for adults and children, as well as a wide range of accessories, homeware, toys, books and bric-a-brac.

Delighted to have been invited to attend the opening of the new shop, Cllr Holbrook said: “Thank you to the dedicated shop team for such a warm welcome. Everyone at Raystede has worked so hard to set up the new shop in the town centre – and to get the premises looking so beautiful.”

“I generally believe that you have to be supportive to the charity sector, including to our animal welfare organisations. Raystede has worked hard over the years caring for unwell, abandoned or ill-treated animals and ensuring their welfare, bringing them back to good health and then finding suitable, safe new homes for them.

Raystede staff and volunteers all have an extremely caring nature and a real passion for supporting animals and it was a pleasure to meet some of them and the charity’s CEO at the shop opening.”

Raystede was first established in 1952 by founder, Mabel Raymonde-Hawkins and has been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming a wide variety of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, horses, donkeys, exotic birds, goats, tortoises, terrapins and alpacas. The charity helps around 2,000 animals every year and it costs over £6,000 per day to provide all animal care services.

Raystede has one of the most diverse range of species in any animal welfare centre in the country and their sanctuary located in Ringmer is open to the public to see their work and learn about animal welfare.

As a charity, they receive no government funding so are entirely reliant on the generosity of the local community. Their shops, including the newly opened Hailsham branch, are one of the ways of generating vital funds and reaching out to the local community.

All proceeds from the shop will go towards helping the animals in Raystede’s care and the Raystede shop team would be delighted to receive donations of good quality items to sell to help raise funds for the animals. Donations can be dropped off on foot or by car at the shop (donation station at the rear of the shop).

Volunteers are needed in the shop and there is a range of roles available including customer service, sorting and preparing donated stock, and operating the till. Flexible shifts are available and full training will be provided.

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: