FOLLOWING the announcement that Age UK West Cumbria will close six stores in the area, an appeal has been launched to help find the staff new employment.

It was announced on May 25 that Age UK West Cumbria will cease its operations on May 31. There are six charity shops in Whitehaven, Workington, Cleator Moor, Cockermouth, Egremont and Wigton, as well as the equipment shop in Workington.

Citing a 'number of financial challenges', a spokesperson from the charity said the board of trustees have now made the 'difficult decision', which means is will not continue offering services to older people across West Cumbria after May 31.

The spokesperson said: "We are sad and disappointed that it has come to this.

"As you would expect our number one priority is how we can now best support older people in the area and we are now looking at the best way this can be achieved locally.

"We are mindful that this news will be upsetting for the older people that we support, as well as our staff, volunteers and stakeholders."

They added that everyone who will be affected has been contacted and will continue to update beneficiaries, staff and volunteers.

Anyone with concerns is asked to contact them on 01900 844670, and anyone looking for Age UK's help is asked to contact its national advice line on 0800 055 6112.

They ended the statement, saying: "Thank you for your support over the years."

However, following the closure announcement, an appeal has been launched by Lee Gray from Age UK West Cumbria Retail. In a statement posted on Facebook, Lee wrote: “If anyone has any job vacancies for retail managers, retail assistants or retail volunteers please could you contact me ASAP.

“Our retail staff have been with the company for many years. Their dedication and support for the organisation has been a great asset over the years. It would be sad to see all their hard work and experience go to waste.

“There’s a lot of talent within my team that you could benefit from.”

Anyone who can help is asked to email

Stock in the Cockermouth, Cleator Moor, Egremont, Whitehaven, Wigton and Workington stores which are due to close, is all on sale for less than £1.