Published: 16:06, 15 April 2021
| Updated: 16:08, 15 April 2021
The Aspen's charity shop in Paddock Wood has re-opened after months of shut down.
The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Joy Podbury, marked the occasion by cutting a ribbon at the store in Commercial Road on Monday.
The shop was also decorated with colourful balloons and staff gave away free key rings and book marks to customers.
The Bluebell Cafe, situated at Aspens’ Cornford Lane site in Pembury, also reopened, with outdoor service, and welcomed lots of customers despite somewhat chilly weather.
Nicki Todd who runs the cafe with Emma Learmouth said: "It's been brilliant. We thought people might not join us because of the weather, but the turnout has been amazing!"
The rest of the Cornford Lane site has also reopened, including the woodland walk, children's playground, small animal barn and outdoor gym.
The charity’s other shops in Crowborough, Seaford, Hampden Park and Bexhill are also now open.
Aspens supports children, young people and adults with learning disabilities, complex needs and those on the autism spectrum, across Kent and Sussex.
The charity provides residential care, supported living, and a wide range of activity sessions from pottery to gardening.
Richard Anstead, Aspen's director of business income and generation, said: “The Covid pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on Aspens, so it’s been great to welcome customers back today.
"Our shops are running sales throughout April and our cafe has been refurbished during lockdown and is looking fantastic.
"We hope you can pop in and support us!”
For further information on Aspens, click here.