Local MP Patricia Gibson has hailed the impact of charity shops on our high streets.

In North Ayrshire, there are around 25 charity shops with 45 full-time equivalent jobs in charity retail and 500 people who volunteer in the sector.

The MP recently met with representatives of the Charity Retail Association to find out more about the work the shops are doing to support their local communities.

Mrs Gibson said: “The charity retail sector is an important force in encouraging people to shop sustainably, and it keeps more than 339,000 tonnes of textiles from being disposed of each year.

“I know that in North Ayrshire and Arran, charity shops are at the heart of the community; boosting the local economy and creating jobs, as well as a place where people can come together.

“What is clear is that it’s the people who make charity shops so popular – with around 10,200 charity shops across the UK.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and effort in making charities shops succeed.”

Mrs Gibson believes the sector is vital to high streets across the authority, and has praised them for battling through the pandemic.

She added: “Charity shops have shown their resilience in the huge challenges they’ve faced over the past few years and are now continuing to thrive and attract new customers.

“The importance of the role charity shops play in society cannot be understated – they occupy a prominent and exceptional place in the retail landscape.

“It’s exciting to see the sector adapting to meet the needs of their customers; from opening new superstores to embracing social media trends.”

Find out more about charity shops and your nearest stores at www.charityretail.org.uk.