DEPARTMENT store Rutherfords of Morpeth, hopes handbags and tea bags will help to raise hundreds of pounds for a North East cancer charity.
The shop is launching a Handbag Amnesty, where customers will be encouraged to swap their old handbag for a 10% voucher to buy a new one from its autumn/winter range.
The handbags collected in a container, which will be in the Bridge Street store from Saturday, will be taken to be sold in Marie Curie Cancer Care shops all over the North East.
Tickets will go on sale for a charity tea party in Rutherfords’ first-floor cafe on Wednesday, October 10, where all the proceeds will go to Marie Curie.
Marie Curie Cancer Care provides care to terminally-ill patients in their own homes or at the Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle – one of their nine UK hospices – while offering support to their families.
Marie Curie nurse Jackie McMaster helped to launch the Handbag Amnesty at Rutherfords.
Marie Curie community fundraiser Lisa Corfield said: “The Rutherfords Handbag Amnesty is an incredibly creative fund-raising idea, and we’ve never done anything like this before.
“Our Marie Curie shops are desperately in need of new stock, so this is a huge boost for us.
“Rutherfords have supported us in the past by hosting tea parties in their cafe, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued involvement and support of the charity.
“Not only is the department store helping to raise money for us, it is also raising awareness of our work in the community.”
The store’s window will be decked out in bunting and Jane Rutherford, from the family-owned department store, said: “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, so we want to help raise some vital funds for an important charity which does wonderful work here in the North East.
“We expect it to be very popular with our customers, who are very generous and supportive of the work we do.
“Our last tea party in aid of Marie Curie was very well supported by customers and we will be serving up some lovely treats for them once again, all for a good cause.”
Rutherfords is also selling its own exclusive Christmas cards – designed by pupils from Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools in Morpeth – in the store in October with all proceeds going to Marie Curie.