close
close

Sheffield charity shop manager who received vile ‘hope you didn’t fail’ letter speaks out

The manager of a Sheffield charity shop has spoken out after receiving a vile ‘hope you haven’t failed’ letter from the ‘neighbourhood watch’.

Following the outrage on social media, the letter actually helped boost the store’s trade. The nasty note written to Kreate, a homewares store that provides work experience for adults with learning disabilities, said it was “not welcome” and would likely “fail”.

When manager Ruth Denton shared the handwritten message on Facebook, hundreds of well-wishers expressed their support for the store. And she now says they’ve had people from as far away as America making plans to visit – while adding the letter has helped put the shop “on the map”.

Read more: Police update, second arrest made after bomb squad evacuates 130 homes in Barnsley

Ruth, 37, said: “The response we have had has been unbelievable. It was really reassuring because you know that what you’re doing is right and people don’t think that about you.

Kreate manager Ruth Denton, 37, received a letter calling for the charity shop to closeKreate manager Ruth Denton, 37, received a letter calling for the charity shop to close

Kreate manager Ruth Denton, 37, received a letter calling for the charity shop to close – Credit: SWNS

“It just helped support the charity no end. It really put us on the map, so that’s great… Whether we like them or not, they’ve done us a huge favor.” Ruth said the letter arrived at the shop in the post on Saturday morning (May 4) and she had decided to open it because of the “intriguing” writing.

But when she read the poorly worded note – written in pencil on a single sheet of padded A4 paper – she was stunned by the lines of mean-spirited comments. The letter read: “To the Landlord, just a note from the neighborhood watch not to welcome you. On the contrary, we try not to encourage local charity shops or shops selling Blackpool-style trinkets.

Ruth holds the letter that caused the furyRuth holds the letter that caused the fury

Ruth holds the letter that sparked outrage – Credit: SWNS

“Lots of businesses needed by communities (sic) have failed and I hope yours have too. Another trendy Tak painted in grey. Coming soon, countdown (sic) for you. The shutters will be permanently down. Resident Unite (Bocking Lane).”

Ruth was initially saddened by the letter, but soon realized that the writer was unaware of the work Kreate does to help people. She said: “It was really upsetting. We are here for a purpose. The idea of ​​the store is for students to gain retail experience working here, and everything we make in the store goes back into our charity.

Kreate manager Ruth Denton, 37, received a letter calling for the charity to closeKreate manager Ruth Denton, 37, received a letter calling for the charity to close

Kreate manager Ruth Denton, 37, received a letter calling for the charity to close – Credit: SWNS

“Obviously the person who wrote it has never been to the shop and read about the charity or knows anything about us really. So it was a little bit like, “Don’t they understand what we’re doing?” Obviously they don’t. But it’s not very nice when you see something like that.”

She then decided to take a picture of the bizarre letter and share it with others on social media – prompting a flood of comments from supporters. One wrote: “I’m so pleased they wrote this letter as I didn’t know you were there and now I’m looking forward to visiting and supporting your amazing charity.”

The note was posted at the Kreate store on Hutcliffe Wood Road in Sheffield - Credit: Kreate/FacebookThe note was posted at the Kreate store on Hutcliffe Wood Road in Sheffield - Credit: Kreate/Facebook

The note was posted at the Kreate store on Hutcliffe Wood Road in Sheffield – Credit: Kreate/Facebook

Another added: “Well I’m just a few minutes down the road and I didn’t know you were there. I’ll come next week.” A third said: “I will come next week to put some money in your house. Amazing cause and my lovely cousin works there. I really hope this negative will do you so much good.”

Ruth said she was overwhelmed by the response and amazed at how many people supported the charity following the nasty comments. She said: “Last night I had someone comment on one of the posts who was from America.

The 'Residents Unite' group behind the nasty ticket sent to Kreate are believed to be on Bocking Lane - Credit: Yasmin WakefieldThe 'Residents Unite' group behind the nasty ticket sent to Kreate are believed to be on Bocking Lane - Credit: Yasmin Wakefield

The ‘Residents Unite’ group behind the nasty ticket sent to Kreate are believed to be on Bocking Lane – Credit: Yasmin Wakefield

“Someone actually said they were coming and would like to come visit. It would be amazing if they did. We don’t actually have an online store, but we’ve now done orders in Scotland and the south. So the response has been amazing.”

Ruth said she still doesn’t know who wrote the original letter and felt it was best they remained anonymous. She added: “We have no idea who they are and it’s best to keep it that way I think.”

Get all the latest and breaking Sheffield news straight to your inbox Sign up for our newsletter here.