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This month has seen another exciting step forward in the Uganda Marathon’s development as a charity, as we opened our first-ever shop, in Masaka Town Centre.

As we work in partnership with a number of organisations across the district, this means our daily work in Uganda often involves working on the Charity Project’s sites. However the UGM Shop provides a permanent fixture in the community, which is both recognisable and easily accessible to the local people.

Like the Uganda Marathon itself, the outlet is all about supporting our Charity Projects. It provides a space in town for the UGM’s various Projects to sell the goods they produce, and therefore generate an additional income for the people they support.

For example, the students at Masaka Rehabilitation Vocational Centre (MRVC) produces various mental work, wood work and textile products in their daily classes, which can be sold to help support the project’s operations. Now, through the UGM shop, MRVC has access to an outlet in town where goods can be easily sold to the public. The revenue will then be channeled back to MRVC, supporting the project’s finances.

The shop provides our Projects with the opportunity of an additional revenue source, which will help support their long-term sustainability.

The shop also provides the UGM with a central hub in Masaka town, for both the projects and local community. Therefore everyone can easily see the work the Marathon is doing in Uganda (even if they don’t have internet access), has an easy point of contact for our organisation and can even pop in to sign up for one of our races!

The Grand Opening- 8th March 2016

The idea and implementation of the UGM Shop took place over a relatively short period, with the idea being thought of early this year, and the subsequent search for a location and set-up taking place in just three weeks.

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The 8th March (coinciding with International Women’s Day) saw the premises open. One hundred people attended the event, with all the Charity Projects from the 2015 and 2016 Marathon being represented. As you can see from some of the photos, there was quite an excited, party atmosphere!

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The event also saw June’s Race Day well promoted, with 1000 flyers handed out and 80 more local sign ups, moving us closer to our 3,000 local runner target.

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The grand opening also saw further positive impact on the local community, with two Zebra Crossings being painted close to the store.

Andy Bownds, our Community Partnership Manager (below), hosted the event and described the day as a great success, with a fun and exciting time had by all who attended.

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Now, after a successful set up and opening, the UGM shop is currently in the process of recruiting a shop manager, who will run the store under the direction of Andy & Tom.

The shop has also shown great results already, with 95 local runner sign ups being made since opening, eight projects now stocking goods in the store, and steady sales in projects’ crafts and eggs, which in-turn are supporting their sustainability.

As more news develops from our new Masaka outlet, we’ll keep you updated on how it is benefiting the Charity Projects.

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