Christmas Card Shop Honours 70 Years of The Samaritans

Local branch was the first to sell through the seasonal pop-up

Cllr Hitesh Taylor (left) and Heena Johnson (second left) along with representatives of some of the Card Shop’s other charities
Cllr Hitesh Taylor (left) and Heena Johnson (second left) along with representatives of some of the Card Shop’s other charities. Picture: Roger Green

November 8, 2023

The Ealing Charity Christmas Card Shop has joined the celebrations of the anniversary of the founding of Samaritans, whose local branch was the first charity to join the card shop in 1985.

On hand to mark the occasion last Thursday (2 November) were Ealing Mayor Councillor Hitesh Taylor and Ealing Hammersmith and Hounslow Samaritans branch director Heena Johnson along with representatives of some of the Card Shop’s other charities.

The Mayor’s visit took place on the 70th anniversary of the day in 1953 that Samaritans took its first telephone calls from those in emotional distress.

Ealing Hammersmith and Hounslow branch director Heena Johnson said, “Without the support of fundraising initiatives like Ealing Charity Christmas Card Shop, our Branch would unable to deliver on the vision of Samaritans founder Rev Chad Varah all those years ago.”

The Ealing Charity Christmas Card Shop opened last week for its 38th festive season at the Church of Christ the Saviour, New Broadway, Ealing (W5 2XA). The all-volunteer shop sells cards from 28 charities and is unique because it’s one of the few charity Christmas card shops where 100% of the money raised goes to the charities.

One of the shop’s first customers was regular supporter Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, who said, “I’m delighted to support yet again the Ealing Charity Christmas Card Shop with its fantastic selection of cards from charities that operate from the very local to all over the world.”

With total sales since 1985 exceeding £900,000, the Ealing Charity Christmas Card Shop has supported more than 100 charities and sold 5m cards to over 21,000 customers.

The entrance to the charity card shop. Picture: Roger Green

For 2023 there are more than 200 different designs of cards on sale in support of the local branches of the following 28 charities: Age UK Ealing, Alzheimer’s Society, Book Aid International, Bridge of Hope, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Christian Aid, Combat Stress, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Diabetes UK, Ealing Samaritans, Ealing Amnesty International, Epilepsy Research UK, Facing the World, Freedom From Torture, Friends of Hammersmith Hospital, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Mind, Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Parkinson's UK, RNLI, Save the Children, Soil Association, Stella Maris - Apostleship of the Sea, St Marks Hospital Foundation Trust, Society of St Vincent de St Paul, Transform Trade and Unique.

Roger Green

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