On one of the hottest days of the year, what felt like the whole of Highgate turned up for the grand opening of Mary's Living and Giving, a new shop where all the proceeds go to Save The Children. Founded by retail guru Mary Portas, these chain of charity shops place emphasis on local communities as well as international fundraising. They run events and meet-ups, and some of them even have space for local businesses to sell their wares. The cosy village of Highgate is sure to be an ideal place to set up a community hub.
There was a bit of whispering about whether Mary herself would turn up, and if she did it wasn't whilst I was there. I attempted to go inside the shop but it was uncomfortably rammed with people pulling at the rails and jostling for space. Did I mention how hot it was that day?
When it settles down I think this space is going to have lots of potential, and being in Highgate - who knows what fabulous items will be donated? Maybe local residents like Kate Moss, George Michael, and Geri Halliwell will drop off a bin-bag of cast-offs? I'll keep my eyes peeled for a union jack mini-dress in the window. Thank god for the wee garden space at the rear of the shop, where kids got free balloons and grown-ups politely accepted an ice-cold glass of bubbly. There was also the cutest dog ever, and gorgeous summery bunting. I hope they hold book groups and crochet classes in the garden. I hope there'll be more prosecco. More than anything, I hope this shop is an amazing success and makes a ton of money for Save The Children.