B@titude emerged from a number of conversations between a group of friends, over several cups of coffee. Jenny & friends were trying to find practical ways to support and serve their local community. There was a gap in provision for families in Leatherhead and although there were 3 or 4 very good charity shops, none of them specialised in children’s clothes or equipment.
An opportunity came up to look at a shop that was closing down on the Kingston Road and it was perfect in every way. The location was ideal, it was really well equipped, the size was great and so the dream was born.
The shop needed to be different, to really serve the families in the immediate area but also further afield. Children’s clothes can be very expensive and so the average cost of clothing in B@titude is between 50p – £1. To be able to achieve this it needed something extra to happen and a group of friends including one business supports the shop by sponsoring the rent.
The shop opened on the 24 January 2005. It has exceeded our expectations in so many ways. We have made many friends in the community, and we could not have achieved half of what has happened without the generosity of people continuing to donate great quality clothes, toys, equipment and small items of furniture.
Until recently, we had a small café/play area which was a very important aspect of the shop. It gave parents and carers a chance to relax while children could enjoy the play area. Our shop has always been a bit of a gathering place with community meetings sometimes taking place in the shop too. Although we no longer have this designated space, it hasn’t stopped the conversations and we are still able to listen and respond to the needs that arise.
However, B@titude is more than a shop. We have many other projects within the community such as the Hive, our summer events programme and our Christmas tea party. One of our core values is to respond in any way we can. We believe that every problem has a solution. We feel very blessed to be able to serve our community in man ways and are overwhelmed by people’s continued generosity.
This is a very resourceful, lively community and we are delighted to be part of the Leatherhead story. There are many more dreams waiting!
Our mission is to:
The name comes from the account in the Gospels of one of the most famous stories. Matthew 5: The ‘Beatitudes’. A talk that seemed to challenge aspects of social justice, commitment to one another and values of life.