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The launch of Mary’s Living and Giving Shop for Save the Children

9:00am
Westfield Shopping Centre, London.

I have just arrived for the press opening of our ‘pop up shop’ in Westfield Shopping Centre. All week designer donations like Mulberry handbags, Manolo shoes and Roland Mouret dresses have been rolling in from readers of Grazia. Even at Farringdon everyone from Save the Children has been rummaging through their closets to find those little gems to donate to our fabulous new shop.

The Save the Children retail team have been working through the night with Mary Portas’ (aka Mary Queen of Charity Shops) to get the donations steamed, pressed and merchandised ready for the grand opening.

As I rush past Prada, Gucci, and Vuitton I can already hear the the crowd which has gathered outside Mary’s Living and Giving Shop for Save the Children. I bumped into Lila, Wendy and Jean, Save the Children volunteers who are the stars of Mary’s BBC2 TV show on Tuesday nights. They were glowing in their new found fame.

9:30am
The bank of photographers are starting to grow and Mary is stalking the shop checking out the price tags making sure everything is just perfect. BBC are filming, the models have just appeared in their charity shop outfits and as Mary lines up in front of the shop with our volunteers the flash bulbs go off.
10:00am
There are queues 40 deep and the shop is full to capacity. It’s one in one out and only shoppers who have brought a donation get to jump the queue. The queue at the till is growing and the volunteers are run off their feet. We have a little sweep stake going on how much we will raise today. The Melanie Rickey Grazia’s Fashion Editor at Large says £3,800 in the first day. Jayne Cartwright Save the Children’s Head of Retail reckons nearer £4k
10.30am
The shop has been open for 1 hour and we take a till reading to see how much we have raised……what do you reckon? We have taken almost £4,000 and that’s in the first hour and the queue at the till is growing!

Just been interviews by Grazia online, BBC News and BBC local radio.

11:00am
The security guard at Westfield Shopping Centre has just given us a tip off that Dancing on Ice presenter Holly Willoughby has just entered the shopping centre. 5mins later I have to grab the security guards radio and I am dashing round the shopping centre with (the rather good looking security guard in tow) trying to track down our celebrity shopper but to no avail. There were a lot of Holly look a likes.

Quick cappuccino then back to the office.

1:00pm
Back at the office.

Gary-Lee-Rushforth, Save the Children shop Manager has just banked an AMAZING £8,000 from the Westfield shop and still the till is ringing!

6:00pm
We have broken the £10K mark and it’s late night shopping so could be as much as £13K in the first day. We will keep you post!

Please do keep looking in those closets for donations. We need you to help us keep the shop stocked. Have a chat to family and friends and get them donating.

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