Shopkeepers of the World

Charity shops hold the objects that tell the stories of their community. Shopkeepers of the World is a project uniting and celebrating the culture of shopping in St Leonards on Sea and Bexhill, exploring the charity shop as a vessel for memories of people and place.

What we did

We commissioned four artists to work with staff and volunteers, objects and stories to create a trail of artworks that highlight and celebrate the role the charity shop in people's lives. A series of installations by artists Alinah Azadeh, Noemi Lakmaier, Albert Potrony and Hermione Allsopp were situated across St Leonards and Bexhill in September 2018 as part of Coastal Currents Arts Festival.

Shopkeepers of the World

The project is captured here is this film by Whalebone Films.


Read our zine featuring stories behind items donated to charity collected during project Donation Days.

Audio recordings

Listen to interviews revealing the stories behind objects donated to charity gathered at project Donation Days.

A Gift (Jorge’s Workshop) by Albert Potrony

The work is a subtle homage to the individuals that help make charity shops a viable alternative to commercial retail and to the lives of people whose discarded objects find a temporary home in the space.

The results

Hosted oral history interview training

with charity shop and project volunteers

Produced a series of installations

within the environment of the charity shop

Created a zine

sharing stories and celebrating charity shops

Collected and documented stories

during public donation days

How we engaged with people

I've always been a compassionate person, that's why I'm here. Alinah made it the magic shop... people were so emotional when they saw the work, they were crying.""

Helen, Shelter charity shop volunteer

I enjoyed meeting with other colleagues from charity shops during the oral history training and lunches, sharing stories about our work. I liked showing how much I care about the things we sell in Albert's film.""

Jorge, Mencap volunteer
Jorge, Mencap charity shop volunteer and electrical PAT test

Who was involved?

We worked with volunteers at Mencap Charity shop, Shelter, St Michael's Hospice and Hastings Furniature Service as well as members of the public during donation days, capturing the stories behind the objects.


  • Esther Springett

  • Emily Atkinson

  • Lucy Jefferies

Image gallery