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Cards scheme hits milestone of £5million for charity

Combined Charities Christmas Cards started from a makeshift ship in 1971.

Sheila Hallas who founded Combined Charities Christmas Cards, with Hilary Brown from the Knutsford Christmas Card Shop, and Elaine Bates from the Macclesfield Shop

A charity scheme born in a makeshift shop 46 years ago has passed the impressive milestone of £5m for good causes.

The founder of the Combined Charities Christmas Cards shop, Sheila Hallas, was in an antiques shop in 1971 when she remarked that she couldn’t find anywhere to buy charity Christmas cards.

That passing comment spawned a charity scheme which has lasted all these years and now raised an impressive total of £5m for the good causes it supports. Hundreds of volunteers have sold cards for hundreds of charities from shops in Macclesfield and towns across Cheshire.

The shop runs each year in Macclesfield as a pop-up in the library.

Founder Sheila said: “It’s our 46th year and it’s a special year as we find we have just raised the magnificent sum of £5million for our charities.

“It’s a remarkable landmark for our tireless band of volunteers.

“We sell cards which benefit more than 50 charities and the difference with our shops is that we give 100 per cent of our sales to the charities concerned.

“For a few weeks from late October to early December, our shops are in the library in Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Hale, Sale and Altrincham and the Curzon Cinema in Knutsford, manned solely by volunteers from the charities.

“In addition to the Christmas cards, twinkling lights and Christmas trees, we have a great range of gifts and stocking fillers and that’s how we manage to give all profits from the cards to charity.

“Our shops are welcoming and friendly and we are thankful to everyone who comes along and supports us.”

Sheila, who was awarded an MBE for her charity work, started off selling the charity cards equipped with just two wallpaper pasting tables, a paraffin heater and a few volunteers in an empty shop in Alderley Edge.

She moved into other empty shops in following years before finding a home in the libraries.

This season there are 53 charities participating in six pop up shops, with cards being sold for local and national charities.

The Macclesfield shop is open from Saturday, November 4 to Thursday, December 9 at the library, on Jordangate, Macclesfield.

Visit for information or to order cards.

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