Sunbeams Charity Shop
“Founder of Sunbeams visits Halesowen to officially open Sunbeams Charity shop”
…so reported the Halesowen News in December!!
Yes – how amazing – to have our very first Sunbeams shop – not in Cumbria but in Halesowen, just outside Birmingham. Why? You may ask! Because the shop’s founder is a wonderful lady called Katie Bennett, who read about us and who believes in Sunbeams and the Community Music Therapy we deliver to people with Special Needs.
When I saw the High Street shop for the first time, I was quite overwhelmed by Katie’s generosity and her team’s hard work in setting up the first ever Sunbeams fundraising shop in the world! I am thrilled that the people of Halesowen have taken Sunbeams to their heart. We are aiming to build our Sunbeams Music Centre this year and we will certainly be taking in people from Halesowen and the surrounding areas.
Katie Bennett, a supporter of Annie Mawson's Sunbeams Music Trust at Greystoke, was so inspired by the charity's aims that she has set up the fundraising venture. And on the shop counter is a copy of Cumbria Life featuring an article about harpist Annie Mawson's charity so that customers can find out more about Sunbeams.
Sunbeams Music Trust provides therapeutic music sessions to youngsters and adults with special needs and disabilities, as well as staging shows by the Sunbeams Concert Troupe. It is working hard to raise £1.5 million to build a music centre at Redhills near Penrith, offering workshops and accredited education courses for those with special needs. Donations have flooded in, including more than £11,000 from a Donate a Brick campaign launched in June.
Liverpudlian Katie Bennett found out about Sunbeams through her daughter Alice: she lives in a house in Liverpool which was once occupied by Eleanor Rigby, the inspiration for the famous Beatles song. Alice contacted Annie following publicity about a Sunbeams auction of some Eleanor Rigby memorabilia last year. For more information visit www.sunbeamsmusic.org.
The shop opened its doors towards the end of 2009, gearing up for a busy Christmas and New Year. Katie, the shop manager, said: “We are really honoured that Annie came down from Cumbria to see the shop and thank us all personally. We have been open a few weeks and the reaction has been incredible with shoppers popping in and out all of the time.”
She added: “So many people have helped us out and I would like to say thank you to Marks and Spencers, Asda, BHS, Adam Perry and all of my very special team who have made this happen.”
Katie and her team are always grateful for clothes and other goods as well as volunteers. For all our supporters in the Midlands - phone Katie on 0121 550 5503 for more information!
Sunbeams two charity shops are located at
51 High Street
53 High Street
Tel: 0121 550 5503