There are charity shops - and then there's Shoard!
by Alastair Hamilton -
Every high street, these days, has its share of shops raising money for every kind of good cause, but the one on the island of Whalsay offers more than most.
Whalsay lies north-east of Shetland's mainland and its charity shop has been described as the "mother-lode". The Whalsay Disability and Special Needs Support Group, set up in 1989, has been steadily expanding its operations and, as I discovered on a recent visit, their shop now occupies all three large rooms of a former school, not to mention various corridors. It's called Shoard, which means a support.
The range on offer is amazing, from furniture and bathroom suites to plants, shoes, books, luggage, golf clubs and a whole room full of clothes, some brand new. There are real bargains to be had. Hardback books in perfect condition were going for just a pound and an unused, high-end i-Pod dock was on offer at £250, half the retail price. It's another of those well-supported community enterprises that flourish in Shetland. You can read more about the history of Shoard here.