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October the 15th 2020

The latest financial report has just been published and can be viewed by clicking onto the button on this page.

The charity shop on Warwick Parade needs your help.

With the continuing threat from the Covid-19 Coronavirus the need to protect both staff and customers means extra safeguards must be practiced. This has resulted in an increased workload when it comes to taking in, quarantining and sorting donations before they are moved into the shop to be priced and eventually sold.

If you have a few hours to spare on a regular basis and would like to join a dedicated team of volunteers who currently undertake a variety of tasks, please contact the shop. You can call in and leave your details, send an e-mail to or telephone on 07434 830379

Full training will be given for whatever role you feel might suit, from sorting to selling and from pricing to protection.

​Surprisingly, the shop has made its first donation this financial year of eight thousand pounds to the UK registered charity. As usual, 50% is earmarked for use in the village and the rest for scholarships.


September the 13th 2020

At long last the shop is open, but it is hardly "business as usual".

Firstly, I must apologize to everybody that we have been unable to accept donations from this last few weeks.


In order to quarantine all goods for a minimum of seventy two before they enter the shop a tent has been set up in the rear service yard and although I thought that a six meter x four meter space would be ample, it has proven not to be so. We are still trying to find the most workable solution, so please bear with us whilst we re-configure the arrangements and layout as hopefully we will get there in the end.

Shop sales have been much better than expected with the second day of trading being in excess of five hundred pounds. At this rate we may well be able to exceed the budgeted level of donations to the registered charity of thirty thousand pounds this year. Sadly well below the one hundred and one thousand pounds donated last year.

The financial report for the last four week is now available here and also on facebook.


Would customers please continue to wear face coverings and make use of the sanitizer dispenser before entering the shop. Once inside please follow the floor markings and observe social distancing.

Lastly, on Thursday the 10th of September, because of a communications error between our credit card terminal and the banking system four customers who bought goods were not charged for their purchases. This was our fault, not theirs, but if they could ask for Val, Ian or Douglas when they next visit the shop we can hopefully rectify the problem as the shop will not be credited for these transactions.


The sales were via Visa Card      No. **** **** **** 9010 for £ 16.50 

                                 Visa Card      No. **** **** **** 1628 for £  8.90

                                 Mastercard   No, **** **** **** 0120 for £ 8.45

                                 Visa Card      No. **** **** **** 1404 for £ 8.90

August the 27th 2020

The shop is now almost ready for the re-opening next Thursday, the 3rd of September.


A deep clean of the entire premises from the front door handle to the rear exit has been carried out. Shelves, fittings, stock and staff area have all been bleached or sanitized with extra facilities installed to keep both customers and staff as safe as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. John Cormack has been a tremendous help this last few months with not only his sound medical advice but also his ability to produce the invaluable and informative video used during the staff training sessions.


Now David Clacy of Essex Domestic Gas Services has kindly installed a new over-sink water heater free of charge in order to provide the staff with extra hand washing facilities. Visit our THANK YOU page for his and all of our generous supporters details. 


Donations have flooded into the reception tent in the rear yard and as grateful as the Foundation is might I ask that if possible you hang on to goods for another couple of weeks in order that we might get some free space as we start to sell some of the new stock.


Once again may I remind donors that goods can only be received at the tent in the rear yard where they remain in quarantine for at least seventy two hours before entering the shop. 


The tent is only open from 10:00 am 'til 3:00 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to enable safe handling and initial sorting.



August the 14th 2020

Staff training has now been completed and preparations are well underway for the re-opening of the charity shop.


The acceptance of donations will commence on Monday the 17th of August between 10:00am and 3:00pm and thereafter on weekdays only between those times. They should be delivered to a designated marquee in the rear yard of Warwick Parade.


From the shop car park turn left into Clements Green Lane, left again into Hither Blakers and finally another left into Longfield Road; follow Longfield Road into the rear service yard and the marquee will be in the far corner. Set your Sat-Nav to CM3 5JJ 


Please do not leave any donations in the collection bin at the side of Spar or outside the shop. Regretfully because of quarantine measures requiring at least 72 hours before handling and sorting by staff, even when the shop re-opens we will not be able to accept donations through the front door for the foreseeable future.

The shop will undergo a deep clean and re-stocking with quarantined stock before re-opening on the Thursday after the August Bank Holiday. September the 3rd.

We are looking forward to welcoming our customers both old and new but please remember to wear a facemask and use the sanitizing facilities before entering the shop. In order to observe the guidelines on social distancing we may have to limit the number of customers and staff in the shop at any one time.

Regards to all from the trustees of Mister Gees Foundation, UK Charity No. 1181204

July the 23rd 2020

With the announcement that face masks are to become compulsory in all retail outlets from July the 24th the trustees of Mister Gees Foundation have taken the decision to re-open the charity shop on Warwick Parade from Thursday the 3rd of September providing the trend of Covid-19 infections continues to drop and that there is no second spike.

Between now and then a number of factors need to be considered and taken into consideration and changes made in order to ensure the safety of the volunteer staff and customers, something that Dr John Cormack has kindly offered to assist with and advise us upon.

The acceptance of donations will commence on Monday the 17th of August between 10:00am and 4:00pm and thereafter on weekdays only between those times. They should be delivered to a designated marquee in the rear yard of Warwick Parade.



June the 26th 2020

The trustees are still waiting to see if the transmission rate of Covid-19 continues to follow a downward trend. Only when they feel that the level of risk to both staff and customers is acceptable will they consider re-opening the shop on Warwick Parade.

In the meantime options regarding measures  to safeguard the staff and customers have been considered and discussed. More about this will be published in the next few weeks, including how donations will be accepted when the time comes.

Taking into consideration the average age and potential vulnerability of the volunteers working at the shop, they would obviously be provided with full face visors and protective gloves as well as continual access to hand sanitizer. 


May the 28th 2020

As most of you reading this post will know it has been announced that all remaining non-essential shops can re-open on the 15th of June.

However the Trustees of Mister Gees Foundation think that prudence should guide us and with that in mind have decided to make no decision as to when the charity shop might re-open for at least another four weeks after that date..

This would allow time to see if there is a "second spike" and also look at how other charity shops are keeping their staff and customers safe, bearing in mind that we be handling donated goods that should be quarantined for at least seventy two hours.

Please do not leave any donations outside the shop or in the bin until the shop re-opens.

A budget and cash flow for 2020 - 2021 has been produced and even if the shop doesn’t open until after August it would still generate over fifty thousand pounds profit for the charity by the end of the financial year next March, of which at least half will be made available for use here in the village.

Once again may I personally thank everybody, donors, customers and staff for their help and support with what the shop does and ask that work together to maintain the safety of all concerned.

Rest assured, the shop will re-open as soon as is practical and you will be kept informed as to when that will be.

Regards to all from the trustees of Mister Gees Foundation, UK Charity No. 1181204



April the 7th 2020

Even as I write the Prime Minister is in St. Thomas' Hospital being cared for by NHS staff; a clearer indication that Covid-19 has no respect for age, gender or position could not be demonstrated.


I have no intention of entering into the political arena with personal comments but I do hope that he and everybody else with this terrible virus makes a full recovery.  However, I would like to express my surprise when last week President Donald Trump extended the travel restrictions in the USA beyond his original deadline as I had fully expected him to move Easter rather than lose face. After all if Pope Gregory the thirteenth could make ten days disappear in 1582 and the UK Parliament moved from September the 2nd to September the 14th overnight in 1752 surely a couple of months either way would be small fry to  King Donald the first.

Please follow the government's guidelines to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Enough of that, the latest financial report is now available here on line and within it the end of year results. I can't see how next year will be anywhere near as successful but hopefully with help the shop will weather the storm and re-open as soon as is possible. In the meantime I will draw up a new budget and cash flow for the next twelve months and start thinking outside the square in order to generate income.

Lastly, if you look at the year end figures the P&L statement will show that in 2019 - 2020 the trading company made a loss of £6,149.14 This was quite intentional in order to ensure that no corporation tax will be payable for this year.



Please stay safe as we look forward to seeing you all and accepting donations as and when normality returns.



February the 17th 2020

Since last writing in this section of the website a very dear friend has died at the age of seventy one. And whilst the name of Hazel Murphy A.M. will mean nothing to most of you it is through my association with her that Mister Gees Foundation exists today.

I first met Hazel in 1992 on my inaugural trip to Australia and it was the start of a friendship that lasted until I went into self imposed exile in 2017, it was she who introduced me to Viv Thomson at Best's Wines where a decade later I spent five years as the general manager and CEO of his family's winery in the farming belt of western Victoria.

It was during this period that I became aware of just how much water it takes to produce a single bottle of wine and the potentially catastrophic water and food shortages in years to come, not only in Australia but worldwide, without this  knowledge Mister Gees Foundation would likely never have been conceived.  

God bless you Hazel  and I look forward to raising a glass of Thomson Family Shiraz in your memory.


this month it has been greenrecycling of Heybridge that have solved the excess book situation. Every week we get some books that are for various reasons unsaleable, be it water damage or just general ware and tare. these are now being collected by greenrecycling.   This is yet another example of a local business supporting the charity. Please give them your support and trade locally. Visit our thank you page.

We are still in need of some extra help in the shop on a Tuesday and Thursday, so if you can be of any assistance please call in and ask for Douglas or Val, if we are not there just leave a telephone number and we will call back.

Once again the end of period figures have now been produced and are posted here on the website as well as on the South Woodham Ferrers Facebook page.

Please, please get in any applications to The Village Group for financial assistance for your local group or organisation, forms are available on the website or just call in at the shop and ask for one.


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