Charity & vintage shop snoop

Charity Shop Snoop: Emmaus Village Carlton

‘Shop’ is an understatement when referring to Emmaus Village Carlton. Down a lane in Bedford is a charity shop haven – a furniture mega store, a clothing boutique, craft shop, vintage section, book shop (you get the point…) and not to miss out the on site bistro.

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My colleague and I spent the whole day learning about Emmaus Village Carlton, how it works and is run. We had a thousand and one questions and stayed on site for six hours. Not your usual duration for a charity shop! We first had a look around by ourselves in the shop area. It’s a huge space with lots of different rooms and some beautiful displays.

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When then stopped to have lunch with the companions and staff before meeting with the Retail Manager for a guided tour. We got to go behind the scenes and were very impressed with the recycling centre called Under 1 Roof. They recycle most materials and try to send nothing to land fill.

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We then visited the Bistro  – where they also sell books, vinyl and homewares and chatted to the staff and companions. We met with Lesley the volunteer Co-ordinator who looks after 35 people who do a variety of roles to help support the social enterprise.

After a long day snooping we were asked to visit the garden areas where they grow their own fruit and veg. Two companions showed us around and explained what they do.


We had a great day and came away with lots of ideas for Emmaus Oxford. I bought a shell animal. A bit tacky I know but I just love them!


Thanks for having me over Emmaus Village Carlton  – it’s definitely worth a visit.

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