It All Began...
...in 2008, when students from Nottingham Trent Aegis Society went on a trip to Rwanda with the charity and NGO Aegis Trust. Seeing how the genocide in 1994 had torn the country apart and how Aegis was doing vital work with survivors to build peace was a major inspiration to do something to help. “I had the opportunity to go to Rwanda in 2008 with Aegis Students to see what Aegis was doing,” says Grace. “That really confirmed my commitment to the cause.”
Using an innovative clothes bank system to collect donations, the White Rose Shops have been a huge success. Plans are afoot to expand, with further shops set to open in the region. After graduating from Nottingham Trent University in
2009, this passion was translated into action when, after discussing with the charity how they could help raise money, the idea of the White Rose Shops began.
Grace and Angie wanted to support the work of Aegis by setting up a charity shop which wouldn’t simply treat donors’ clothes as ‘good enough’, or assume that customers were there to settle for second best. Rather, it would offer lovingly hand-picked recycled fashion – valuing people, and clothes, in a manner reflective of charity’s values.
“The aim was to create a shop that people would love,” says Grace of the first shop in Hockley. “We wanted it to be part of the community, be a hub for like minded people, and support Aegis to boot. To our delight, it had a lovely reception. So to all those who have shopped, donated or just popped in to say hello and support us, we’d like to say a great big ‘thank you!’”
Since opening their doors in December 2009, the shops, supported by a fabulous team of staff and volunteers have gained many wonderful and supportive customers and importantly have raised vital financial support for Aegis. Using an innovative clothes bank system to collect donations, the White Rose Shops have been a huge success. Plans are afoot to expand, with further shops set to open in the region.
Why 'White Rose'
White Rose is named after the brave White Rose Student Movement who stood up to Hitler and the Nazis in the 1940s.
About Aegis Trust
The Aegis Trust is an international organization working to prevent genocide. Aegis honours the memory of the victims of genocide and enables students, professionals, decision-makers and a wider public to meet survivors and learn from their experiences. Through education, Aegis works to build long-term peace by encouraging communities to change from mindsets of mistrust and prejudice to a position of shared responsibility for peace and stability. Aegis also helps survivors in difficult circumstances to rebuild their lives.
Aegis conducts and encourages research about genocide to improve the practice of prevention. We work on places where genocide is a current threat, campaigning for decision-makers to help protect those most at risk. Our advocacy involves taking the voices of those at risk to politicians, the media and the public.
Founded by British brothers James and Stephen Smith in 2000, Aegis developed from the work of the UK National Holocaust Centre and has offices in the UK, USA, Kenya and Rwanda, where we have been responsible for the Kigali Genocide Memorial since establishing it in 2004.
For more information on Aegis’s current activities please visit the Aegis Trust website: