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December the 19th  2023

For the last six years, with the help and backing of an incredible group of over forty volunteers I’ve done my very best to manage and run the charity shop on Warwick Parade. The success of the shop has been phenomenal thanks to the generous support of donors and customers alike. To date it has raised over four hundred and thirty thousand pounds for Mister Gees Foundation a UK registered charity with over half of that sum earmarked for use here in South Woodham Ferrers.

          After two abysmal attempts at retirement over the last twenty-three years I find myself still working six or seven days a week; something that is becoming physically and mentally harder to do especially when considering the complexity of what will be left behind for my children to “sort out” when I can’t fulfil my roles at the foundation shop and family businesses anymore.

          So, it is with mixed feelings that I would like to announce that on the 1st of April 2024 the ownership and management of the charity shop will move on to another Essex based charity, the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity whilst I embark upon my third attempt at retirement. Who knows, I might just succeed this time.

          Mister Gees Foundation’s success was built upon the groundwork of the Muscular Dystrophy shop started by Audrey Hatcher over twenty-five years ago. Hopefully the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity will continue grow her legacy even more and enable it to provide much needed support for people whose lives have been touched by cancer.

          Saying “Thank You” to everybody involved seems rather trivial, but if said with sincerity, which it is, I can’t think of any other expression that conveys my sentiment and gratitude.

          Rest assured everybody who currently volunteers at the shop will be welcomed by the new management and Alison Mathews, head of retail, will take the opportunity of meeting with them early in the New Year and answer any queries that they may have.

          Mister Gees Foundation, the UK registered charity No. 1181204 will continue to offer water orientated scholarships with income from other sources as well as supporting the establishment of the SWF Men’s Shed and Community Hub from donations and existing funds held.

          Finally, may I say once again “Thank You” to everybody that has made my last fifty plus years in South Woodham Ferrers such an incredible journey, I feel truly grateful and privileged to have known you all. 


          With Regards


                      Douglas Green

December the 13th  2023

Last week the shop sales were two thousand seven hundred and sixty-three pounds, our best week ever. 

The last two hours have been spent finding and correcting a stupid mistake in the book-keeping, I'm sure that it's an age thing because they are appearing more often.


The Charity Shop is on it's rundown  to Christmas with only ten shopping days left now, so pop in and pick up a last minute bargain.


You can even buy that Secret Santa present for work, after all it is likely to find it's way back to the shop in the New Year.

On Monday the 17th I will publish the opening times for Christmas and the New Year period, I know that it's rather short notice but I'm sure you will understand the reason. 


November the 12th  2023

Another rather busy four weeks, but that's no surprise.

Christmas sales are well under way and the level of donations being delivered to the rear yard and left at the shop front continues to grow.

Sadly any hopes of donors reading the notice in the front window of the shop or the 2mtr x 1mtr banner attached to the blue container in the rear yard regarding delivery times have long vanished and we have come to accept that the daily routine of starting off by clearing an entrance to the containers or the front door is to be taken as the norm.

The latest financial figures are now available in PDF format on the financial report page.

October 15th  2023

Whilst fully accepting that the days are getting shorter I've come to the conclusion that either I'm getting slower or there are definitely less than twenty four hours in every one.

I just don't appear to be able to get on top of everything that needs to be done. Hopefully within the next  week or so much of the day to day management of the Men's Shed will have been taken off of my hands and I can sort out Christmas stock for sale in the charity shop.

Arranging new space from which the food bank can operate in Clements Green Lane has proven easier said than done but we will get there albeit a litter later than planned.

Donations from the shop to the charity have exceeded budget by seven thousand five hundred pounds since the financial started on April the 1st this year and look to eclipse the eighty thousand pounds expected. I'm sure that we can find a good use for the extra money.

The latest financial figures are now available in PDF format on the financial report page.

September 17th 2023

This last four weeks has been a bit of a whirlwind.

At long last the Charity Shop income is nearing the ten thousand pounds per four week period that it was achieving before Covid-19.

The Men's Shed project continues to move on, a steering committee group has been formed and visits to two local sheds in Rayleigh and Springfield have been made. The best news is that the Foundation Trustees have a greed a match funding arrangement whereby for every pound raised by the shedders (that being what members of Men's Sheds are called)  from whatever source Mister Gees Foundation will match pound for pound up to a total of twenty five thousand pounds. So, shedders raise twenty five thousand pounds, Mister Gees Foundation matches it giving a total of fifty thousand pounds.

A Just Giving page will be set up within the next few days so everybody can support this worthwhile project.

Also new on the site is the latest financial report.

August 20th 2023

I'm chuffed to say that at the inaugural meeting to establish a community hub and men's shed that was held at Champions Manor on Thursday the 17th there were thirty two people in attendance.



August 12th 2023

Please see below about the Men's Sheds project.

2:30pmThursday August 17th

Champions Manor Hall meeting room

Make a note in your diary..NOW

Mister Gees foundation



Do you sometimes wish that there was a place to go where you could meet like minded individuals? Whatever your interests, I.T. Sweet Tea, Bikes, Busses, Woodworking or Writing if they’re decent and legal, then they can be considered or catered for.


A place that has all the hand tools and machinery  needed to make or mend an assortment of items from bird boxes to biscuit bowls and from juke boxes to jewellery. Somewhere to play board games, card games or just have a chat with somebody over a cup of tea or coffee rather than watch daytime television.


Men’s Sheds started in Australia in the 1990’s and there are now over 2000 worldwide.


Mister Gees Foundation would welcome your input as to how best we can manage and use Approx. 1,400 sq ft of space here in South Woodham Ferrers.


Please come along and learn more about the venture and how you can take an active part in the planning and set up of this community hub at the meeting that has been arranged to solicit your opinion and ideas on the 17th of August in the meeting room at Champions Manor Hall at 2:30 pm.


July 24th 2023 

I've been told to stop putting the financial report on Facebook each month as "it is boring and nobody is bothered about a list of numbers that they don't understand."

Instead we will use social media to inform people about the shop, the charity and the men's shed with pretty pictures and the like.

The latest financial report is available her on the website as usual.

I'm still trying to arrange a date for the first meeting of the Men's Shed .and will get details out as soon as possible.

June 17th 2023 

Finally after many months of searching we have found suitable premises in which to establish a “Men’s Shed” here in South Woodham Ferrers.

What’s needed now is you.

There is still a lot to do before the doors open including legal stuff, fitting out, sourcing equipment and fund raising but the most important thing is to liaise with potential members and ascertain what they want and need.

Sometimes the answer to a “maidens prayer” is no, however unless the prayer is voiced it is impossible to answer. So without getting into any gender discussions please come along to the open meeting in July and make known your ideas and suggestions.

I’m sorry about not being able to provide the exact date yet but much help and advice has been given by Chelmsford Council for Voluntary Service (Chelmsford CVS) and the person with whom I’ve been working is away on annual leave. This is compounded by the fact that I too am away for a couple of weeks from the start of July. It is likely to be the either the 20th or the 27th of July but as soon as it’s confirmed this page will be updated and posters will be made.

A lot of ideas have been voiced and mulled over but now it’s down to you, after all it’s your input that is of the greatest importance.

Why not use the CONTACT US button on this website to register your interest and give us some thoughts.

May 28th 2023 

Following much discussion and consideration the trustees have decided that after five years the time has come to look again at how Mister Gees Foundation has performed and how we can look towards the future. .

May 28th 2023 

Following much discussion and consideration the trustees have decided that after five years the time has come to look again at how Mister Gees Foundation has performed and how we can look towards the future. .


Since  the charity was registered in December of 2018 the shop has donated over two hundred and ninety five thousand pounds to it, with an additional twenty four thousand being distributed by the shop to the Village Group and water scholarships prior to that date. Bearing in mind that the shop was closed throughout the period when Covid-19 was prevalent. The downside of this is that the charity's reliance upon the shop for income needs to be addressed and other income streams pursued.


In total the Foundation has made over one hundred and fifty thousand pounds available for distribution here in South Woodham Ferrers and a similar amount has been used for Masters Degree Scholarships.

Prior to submitting the 2022 - 2023 accounts and annual report to the Charity Commission changes have been made as to how applications will be considered and also the appointment of two new trustees, one to replace John Kimberley and the other to replace me.


With the above in mind I would like to thank those members of The Village Group for their time and invaluable input over the last six years working through all of the applications made and making recommendations to the trustees.  


For my part, I'll still be around to help with the day to day management and running of the shop as well as the transitional period of the charity that now needs skills which unfortunately I don't possess.

Over the next few days I shall endeavour to update the website with details of the new trustees and grant application procedures.

 April 30th 2023 

Hopefully spring is now upon us and that the first of the three long weekends has set the weather pattern for those to follow. 

Many of you will be celebrating the coronation of King Charles III with friends and family or attending one or more of the events here in South Woodham Ferrers. I remember well being dressed as a Beefeater with my elder brother in a cowboy outfit, my mother as the Queen of tarts and my father wearing a pith helmet and kaki shorts as we rejoiced in Queen Elizabeth's ceremony seventy years ago with one heck of a street party that continued late into the night.

The shop will be open on Saturday the 6th of May so feel free to pop in and join us as we raise three cheers to our new king and queen.

It is with much sadness that I report the death of John Kimberley one of our trustees who recently died of a brain tumour and a member of staff who passed this weekend. On behalf of the trustees and staff may I offer my condolences to their families and friends.      

April 2nd 2023 

 It is with much delight that I can report the year end figures for the Charity Shop on Warwick Parade


Old habits die hard and as ever I produced a budget and cash flow in February 2022 for the trading period from April the 1st 2022 to March the 31st 2023. The projected sales target for the shop was exceeded by over eight thousand pounds and all other income just fifty seven pounds less than expected.

Donations made to the registered charity were over eighty thousand pounds, again eight thousand pounds more than budgeted; which was particularly satisfying given that the shop spent an unplanned sum of almost six thousand pounds replacing the old "quarantine tent" with a new container complete with lighting, heating and a covered area in order to improve the working conditions for the volunteers that accept the donation in the rear yard. 

Once again I would like to say that none of the above would have been possible without the support of the local community as both donors and customers; thank you for your donations that our hardworking band of almost fifty volunteers sort, price display and sell, before the trustees give not less than fifty percent of the profit from the shop back to South Woodham Ferrers.

I was saddened this week to read that one UK hospice charity had been heavily criticised by the Charity Commission with the following statement, " An investigation by the Charity Commission has found that a hospice charity spent only 6% of the money it raised on its end cause".



February 6th 2023 

Well here we are in 2023 and the shop has re-opened for business.

Sadly all efforts, including a two meter by one meter sign on the door of the new container asking people not to leave donations whilst the shop was shut failed. The result being that during the closure volunteers had to unlock containers on an almost daily basis and remove goods left outside.

The new container and extra undercover area is working well and I would ask that people leaving donations bring them to the rear yard during the hours shown. Those being 09:30 'til 13:00 Monday to Saturday. This gives the volunteers time to sort and price stock in the afternoons.

Hopefully we will achieve our budgeted donation target to the registered charity of seventy two thousand pounds this year.; it currently stands at just over fifty nine thousand pounds with ten weeks left in this financial year.

So, there we have it, all I can do is wish everybody all the very best for 2023 and I look forward to seeing you in the shop in the not too distant future.

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