A CHARITY shop in Poole claims it is the UK’s oldest charity shop to trade from its original location it was set up in. 

Armed Forces charity SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) in Church Road, Ashley Cross, has records going back to 1942 confirming it has traded in that location at least since then. 

Volunteer manager at the charity shop Bob Bone said the only charity shop to come close to standing in its original premises is a national one dating back to 1947. 

Bournemouth Echo: SSAFA in Ashley CrossSSAFA in Ashley Cross (Image: Daily Echo)

Bob said: “SSAFA was set up in 1885 to look after the troops and to ensure there was support for them.  

“A lot of clothing depots were set up at the time and during World War Two this shop came into its own. 

“This Poole branch is the only one remaining in the world. There were more than 300 depots during WW2 and his is the last one standing.  

“This is the oldest charity shop trading from its original position in the UK. The only one that comes close is a national charity that dates back to 1947.  

Read more: Poole charity shop commemorates Commonwealth troops

“We’ve got records dating back to 1942, and this was most probably here before that.” 

SSAFA has around 4,000 volunteers nationwide and the charity helps thousands of veterans every year. 

“A very kind beneficiary Wing Commander Bob Durman, RAF pilot WW2, left a sizable donation to the charity so that SSAFA owns the shop,” he added. 

“SSAFA is a trusted source of support for serving personnel, veterans and their families in their time of need. 

“This shop here enables the Dorset branch to provide ongoing support for those individuals.  

“The money raised goes to support the caseworkers who do a tremendous amount of work within the county.” 

The Poole branch is also currently looking for volunteers to join the team. 

The charity was recently praised after Bob made a large collage display on the shopfront window to commemorate former armed forces personnel, both men and women and black and white. 

Photographs are of personnel from World Wars One and Two, the Korean War, the War in Afghanistan and the Gulf War.