'In eight years it’s allowed us to do some good:' Peterborough Unite 4 Humanity charity shop to close next week

The Unite 4 Humanity charity shop in Broadway will close its doors next Friday (July 8).

By Adam Barker
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 5:18 pm
Unite 4 Humanity charity shop in Broadway will close its doors next Friday (July 8).
Unite 4 Humanity charity shop in Broadway will close its doors next Friday (July 8).

A Peterborough charity is closing its only shop in the city next week after eight years.

Unite 4 Humanity is a Peterborough-based charity which supports the homeless, as well as vulnerable people and their families, in the local community and across the world.

The charity opened its charity shop in Broadway in 2014 but after eight years the charity shop will close its doors from next Friday (July 8).

Unite 4 Humanity charity shop in Broadway will close its doors next Friday (July 8).

"The lease has come to an end and the landlord has an alternative option available to them,” Shezad Yousaf, founder and chairman of Unite 4 Humanity, said.

"The charity shop was only originally supposed to be for the short-term, for a year or two. But the landlord didn’t have any immediate plans for the shop and was able to accommodate us for eight years.

"In that eight years, it’s allowed us to do some good stuff for the local Peterborough community but obviously times have changed – the market’s changing, the high street is changing and they’ve [the landlord] got an alternative option available to them now.”

Shezad founded Unite 4 Humanity, which is registered on Park Road, in Peterborough in 2012 to provide aid to the Syrian crisis, during the Syrian civil war.

Much of the charity’s work supports people living in Peterborough.

"We’ve served over 50,000 hot meals,” Shezad said. “We’ve provided hot meals for the homeless – putting on a Christmas Day lunch for them and giving out brand new sleeping bags, clothes and hygiene kits.

"We used the shop during the pandemic to hand out food bags to vulnerable families. We operated a food bank from the charity shop, giving out hundreds of food parcels.

“We worked with the Co-Op and Tesco to redistribute their surplus food through the charity shop. When homeless people or drug addicts were rehoused, we would give out furniture to support them. It was a hub for the community.”

Unite 4 Humanity will continue to operate as a charity, despite its charity shop closing. The charity shop will remain open as usual until next Friday (July 8).

"We will continue to give out hot meals to the homeless every month as normal,” Shezad said. “The charity shop helped with funding, which we were able to invest into hot meals and food bags.

“We want to explore the option of moving into another shop. As of yet, we haven’t had any offers – but we’re hoping there will be a kind landlord who will be able to offer their premises to us.

“We’re currently still open – we’ve been given a week’s grace by the landlord to get everything in order.”