Benarty Community Shop has raised over £51,000 for community groups and organisations.

The shop, which has now been open for seven years, has raised a total of £51,726.

Anne McKean, of Benarty Community Forum, came up with the idea of a display as a way of letting the community know how much money had been raised since the shop opened.

A board featuring an image of the local pithead, highlight the town’s mining heritage, now carries details of the total amount raised and the names of the different groups that have benefited from donations.

When asked if she thought the total raised would have been so high, shop manager Lorna Gallagher remarked: “Absolutely not! We were absolutely delighted, some of us were in tears, we couldn’t believe it!

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“We are really pleased.”

The board will now be on display permanently in the shop and it will be updated every year with the new total and different groups that have received donations.  The board shows that 25 groups have received a share of the money raised.

Organisations that have benefited previously include Benarty Foodbank, Benarty Heritage Group, and Kids Come First.

Lorna wanted to add that the shop is very grateful to those who volunteer and donate to the shop.

She added: “The success of the shop and the amount we have given out is down to the volunteers, customers, and those who donate.”