Peter Egan and the Dr Hadwen Trust Vegan Charity Shop

Image Credit: Dr Hawden Trust

We recently featured an interview we did with Downton Abbey’s Peter Egan. We think he’s fab – he took part in Veganuary – and is now a committed vegan.

The Dr Hadwen Trust is the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity. We think that they’re fab too! We recently featured an article they did for Veganuary – how ‘organs-on-a-chip’ have the potential to replace animals in biomedical research.

Did you know that Peter Egan is Patron of the Dr Hadwen Trust?! And he performed the opening ceremony last year of their vegan charity shop – a first for a national charity.


Ribbon Cutting 5
Image Credit: Dr Hawden Trust

History was made on Saturday 15 August 2015 when Dr Hadwen Trust Patron, Peter Egan, cut the ribbon to officially open the DHT’s first charity shop. This was a very special day for both the DHT and the vegan community because, in a first for a national charity, it is a vegan charity shop.

A large crowd gathered outside 16 Churchyard in Hitchin to witness the Downton Abbey star perform the opening ceremony. Peter spoke eloquently about his love for animals and how proud he was of his association with the DHT. He said, “I believe profoundly that funding medical research without animals is the future and that the Dr Hadwen Trust is an outstanding leader in this field.”

Veganuary asked the DHT’s Gerry Reilly for an update.

He said: “It seems astonishing that our charity shop in Hitchin has now been open for 6 months – how time flies! In opening the shop we had two objectives, to help raise funds for the DHT and to help raise awareness about our work.”

“We now have a nice steady income stream coming through the shop which is most welcome. One of our biggest concerns before we opened was would we get enough donated stock – not least because we had decided to make our shop vegan and that, clearly, limits what we can accept in donations. Well, our concerns were groundless because we have received amazing contributions from both the local community and from further afield, for which we are hugely grateful.”

“Supporters from as far away as Scotland have sent us donations which is amazing. And we have received new as well as pre-loved goods. The vegan business community in particular have been incredibly generous in donating new stock. One of our best sellers has been The Vegan Cakery’s vegan cake mixes!”

Added Gerry: “The DHT have been in Hitchin for over 30 years and it is no exaggeration that more people have heard of us in the last 6 months than in those previous 30 years thanks to the shop. Our High Street presence is now a very powerful asset in increasing awareness about the DHT and our work, and not only in Hitchin. The fact that we are the first national charity to open a vegan charity shop has captured the public imagination. So much so that, we were thrilled to be featured last December in Civil Society’s Top Ten ‘New Ways To Do Charity Retail’.

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