RSPCA shop to re-open doors

Back, Andy Bijsterbosch (Fylde RSPCA branch secretary) Middle, Bill Walker (volunteer), Liz Rawson (Fylde RSPCA branch manager), Derek Timms (Fylde RSPCA branch chairman); Front, volunteer Kath Walker, shop manager Jo Corbett).

Back, Andy Bijsterbosch (Fylde RSPCA branch secretary) Middle, Bill Walker (volunteer), Liz Rawson (Fylde RSPCA branch manager), Derek Timms (Fylde RSPCA branch chairman); Front, volunteer Kath Walker, shop manager Jo Corbett).

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Fleetwood’s RSPCA charity shop has re-opened after being shut for almost a year.

And the revamped store, on North Albert Street, is likely to become an even more vital source of revenue for the branch in light of current developments which could affect several charities.

I am sure cases like the recent one must be at the extreme end, but if wills are challenged we could lose out

A recent court case saw an elderly widow’s decision to leave around £500,000 to three animal charities, including the RSPCA, overturned by her daughter, who successfully argued the will was unfair after she was left nothing.

The landmark case could have financial implications for organisations such as the RSPCA, which rely heavily on legacies.

Fleetwood-based Liz Rawson, who took on the role of RSPCA Fylde branch manager last December, said: “Legacies are a vital source of income for us.

“I am sure cases like the recent one must be at the extreme end, but if wills are challenged we could lose out.

“That’s one of the reasons why the shop is important to us and I’m delighted to finally get it re-opened.

“It now looks a lot brighter and we feel it is in keeping with this part of the town centre, which has some very good shops.”

The RSPCA shop has been completely spruced up, for an undisclosed sum, and also includes a wider doorway which allows for safer wheelchair access.

The premises closed last summer after the retirement of the previous head of local operations Maragert Bijsterbosch, who stepped down due to ill health after five decades of involvement with the branch.

Fleetwood woman Margaret, now aged 85, continues to keep an eye on local developments.

Her son Andy Bijsterbosch, who is also involved with the branch, said: “My mother has received a lot of goodwill messages since her retirement and we’re grateful for that.”

The RSPCA shop needs extra volunteers. Anyone interested can call in at the premises or phone the branch on (01253) 873616.