SIXTEEN years ago, a new type of charity shop sprang up in Huddersfield, the first of many.
They are run by and for members of local communities, raising money to be spent in the area where they operate.
For the founders of such shops it was a case of charity beginning at home.
Today these same enterprises continue to flourish and, in a period of austerity, may prove to be increasingly important to the communities they serve.
"What we do is quite sensitive to what’s going on generally," says Judi Thorpe, one of the founders of The Cuckoo’s Nest community charity shop in Marsden.
"Our income is slightly down on last year and our donations too," she explained. "I think it’s a really strong indication that people are hanging on to their old clothes longer and that more people will need us."
The Cuckoo’s Nest opened a decade ago and since then has raised an astonishing total of more than £500,000.
There can be few local institutions and organisations that have not benefited – 43 in total – from local scouts and young musicians to theatre groups and the Marsden Mechanics Institute.
The shop, which can draw on 50 volunteers, aged from 17 to 93, pays for the maintenance of the parish graveyard and weekly visits from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The first community charity shop in the area was The Crossroads Shop in Meltham, founded in 1996 by Meltham Churches Together – a group of seven churches from all denominations.
It came into being almost accidentally. Members of the church community staged a meeting to discuss how they could help the town’s elderly people following the threat of water shortages.
"We met in November one night and it poured down and the drought ended. But someone suggested that an empty shop in the village be turned into a charity shop," said Jean Burhouse, one of the founders.
"People seemed to like the idea and it snowballed from there."