Stockbridge shop manager named UK’s top charity worker

Pete Jew with his award. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Pete Jew with his award. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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Pete Jew, who manages Shelter Scotland’s Stockbridge shop, beat tough competition from some of the UK’s 10,000 charity shops.

The Raeburn Place outlet – famous for its January launch events – makes around £9000 a week, or £468,000 a year.

The 58-year-old, who has worked for Shelter for more than 21 years, scooped the award at a ceremony organised by the UK-wide Charity Retail Association.

He said: “I feel very passionately about helping others, so if my work over the last two decades has helped even one person to escape homelessness or improved their housing situation, it’s been totally worth it.

“It’s an honour to work for an organisation that helps over half a million people in Scotland every year. It’s the cherry on top to be recognised with this award.

“I won’t let it go to my head and will be back to work tomorrow trying to raise as much money as possible, sorting weird and wonderful donations from our loyal supporters and trying to raise as much money as possible while having fun at the same time.”

When he started working in his first Shelter shop in Forrest Road, sales rocketed in five years from £900 a week to £3300 a week.

Turnover was £2500 a week at the Stockbridge outlet when he moved there but now stands at more than three times that.

Pete has run 14 successful post-Christmas events, selling designer goods such as Dior, Burberry, Chanel and Armani.

The much-anticipated annual events see crowds queuing outside in freezing temperatures for hours before opening – with Pete handing out hot drinks and snacks. This year, the team achieved sales worth £1500 within the first 30 minutes of trading – that’s £50 a minute and enough to help more than 150 families and individuals through the charity’s free national helpline.

He also launched Shelter Scotland’s first book shop when he expanded into a former grocer next door.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Pete is a shining star in our retail team and goes to great lengths to ensure the shop thrives.

“We can’t thank him enough for his two decades of service at Shelter Scotland.

“He, along with our loyal supporters, customers and donors, has helped to raise vital funds for our work.

“Every penny our shops raise goes towards our fight to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a safe, secure and affordable place to call home.

“Today in Scotland 150,000 households are on waiting lists for a home and more than 35,000 people made homelessness applications in the last year alone.”