One of my goals for this shop is to be the ‘presence’ of Bethany – to meet people wherever they are at in life; and through Christian love in action, to respond to peoples’ needs.
Ann Hay runs the Bethany Christian Trust Shop in Gullane. Now working as the store’s supervisor, Ann first began her journey with Bethany 15 years ago when she was recruited to be the ‘Saturday girl’ to lend a hand in the only charity shop in Gullane.
Over the years, Ann rose through the ranks and now oversees 3 staff and 20 volunteers, all of whom share the Bethany mission – to meet those in greatest need.
“I believe that our role in this community is to show love. Through offering a warm welcome, genuine thanks for support, a smile or laughter, through listening to people with interest and sympathy, caring about them and becoming involved to an extent in their lives, we can make a positive difference.”
It is evident that the Bethany Shop in Gullane isn’t just your average charity shop; it’s a community hub where people from around the area can come in and feel welcome and safe.
Nineteen years ago, the shop opened under much speculation as to whether it would survive its first 6 months. Several years later, Ann attributes this success to three things: high-quality stock, good clientele and the shop’s commitment to Bethany’s core values of treating people with respect and compassion.
“At the heart of what we do, we want to establish relationships with people in the community. Everything else flows out of that, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve been around for such a long time.”
“I feel it is a real privilege to work for Bethany, particularly as its focus is on practical help, through Christian love in action, to those most in need.”
We hope that our customers, donors and visitors enjoy their experience in our shop and leave feeling better than when they came in.