Controversial Shabbat opening pays off for All Aboard

Charity is back in the money after policy change


All Aboard’s controversial decision to open some of its charity shops on Shabbat two years ago appears to have paid off as the organisation has moved back into profit.

According to its last available accounts, it recorded a profit of around £52,600 for the year ending December 2017, compared with a loss in excess of £120,000 the previous year.

As a result, the charity made donations of £27,200 towards “Jewish education, culture and community support”, compared with just £3,175 in 2016 and £12,085 the year before. Income in 2017 rose £185,000 to more than £2,332,000.

Howard Brecker, chairman of All Aboard’s trustees, attributed the improved performance to “the streamlining of costs and processes that was completed in 2016, coupled with the change in opening hours across our 15 shops.

“Ultimately, the improvements in All Aboard’s financial position will mean that the amount that is remitted to charitable causes has and will continue to increase.”

The charity had incurred criticism over its Saturday opening policy, though it stressed no Jewish worker would be asked to work on Shabbat.

In 2016, it reported that it was becoming increasingly difficult to make large distributions owing to increases in the minimum wage, increased rents and the removal of a rate relief.

But it said the introduction of a centralised sorting procedure for donated items would reduce staffing.

According to the 2017 accounts, the changes resulted in a return to profitable trading, leaving the charity “with a strong foundation for future development”.

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