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I love Beechwood!

Summer wardrobes have been getting a boost thanks to a fashion swap shop in Cheltenham’s Beechwood shopping centre

Two swap shops have already been held with a third planned for August 25 from 12noon until 4pm in the centre’s garden area. Beechwood’s centre manager Owen Acland says the clothes exchange has gone down a treat, with people bringing in fashion items and accessories they no longer want and exchanging them for something they do want.

“People have taken the chance to refresh their wardrobes and there will be plenty to browse through at the final swap shop,” said Owen. “It’s a great way to get a new outfit without it costing a penny and in the present climate where budgets are tight we’re delighted to offer the chance for a bit of retail therapy without people having to dig deep in their purse,” he said.

There will be facepainting to keep youngsters occupied while the adults get down to some serious swapping. Alongside the swap shops the shopping centre has also launched its I Love Beechwood campaign. For those who want to bring items in but don’t want to take anything in exchange, Beechwood will give away an I Love Beechwood promotional t-shirt and for every ten it gives away it will be supporting a local charity by planting a tree at the Butterfly Garden in Bamfurlong Lane.

The Butterfly Garden is a project for people of all ages dealing with any kind of disability. It provides therapeutic recreation and education for about 100 students a week who have helped create the nursery and garden.

The garden’s Chris Evans said: “There had never been a plan for the project, it just happened. Everyday it moves forward attracting more users, more helpers and ever-expanding opportunities. It is quite extraordinary and a joy to all of us.”

At the end of the summer swap shop any remaining items will be given to the Butterfly Garden for its Flutterbuys shop, a key part of its fundraising activities. But Beechwood is making sure everyone has the chance to support its campaign whether they have items to swap or not. Those spending over £50 in Beechwood in one day can validate their receipts in the centre management office to receive a t-shirt, then pose wearing the t-shirt, upload it to our Facebook page and vote for their favourite photo.

The photo with the most votes and Beechwood’s favourite will each win £200 vouchers to spend in the centre. Voting begins this month so there’s plenty of time to get creative. Supporting the community isn’t new to Beechwood. Its support your schools campaign was a huge success that resulted in the Catholic School of Saint Gregory the Great receiving £2,000 from Beechwood to spend on equipment. Evans ladies’ fashion shop was presented with chocolates by Owen for giving out the most token points during the competition.

To stay in touch see our Facebook page www.facebook.com/beechwoodsc for offers or for more information about the centre and our great combination of independent and High Street retailers see our website www.beechwoodsc.co.uk

As it rounds off its summer activities, Beechwood is gearing up to launch the Tresher Trail in September so keep in touch to find out more.