Volunteers say they are saddened by the imminent closure of a Halesowen charity shop which has raised more than a million pounds to fight poverty.

Oxfam, which has been based on High Street for the past 38 years, will shut its doors for the final time this Saturday, February 28.

The organisation was the first to open a charity shop in Halesowen but bosses have reluctantly decided to leave the town, blaming a fall in sales over the past two years and the end of the current lease agreement.

Kit Humpage, a volunteer who managed the store for 16 years until last August, said it was a sad day for everyone connected with the shop.

Kit, aged 87, said: “We are exceedingly sad.

“Many of us have been here a long time – we are all feeling down at the moment.

“We had hoped they might change their minds but once a decision has been made that’s it.”

Part-time manager Jonathan Edwards, the only paid employee, will continue his other part-time role at the charity’s Stourbridge outlet.

The first shop was opened on High Street in 1971 before the charity moved acros the road to its current location 16 years ago.

In addition to fundraising the store has also had a presence in a number of the town’s major events including the Victorian street fair.

Kit added: “There are a lot of happy memories.

“You get used to the regular customers – you get to recognising people’s faces.

“I’m sure a lot of the other volunteers will go and help in other charity shops as they enjoy what they do so much.

“After the amount of effort I have put in I feel sad it is coming to an end.”

Oxfam area manager Lisa Milner said the shop has seen a sharp drop in donations and sales since work began on the town’s regeneration two years ago – with only a minor improvement since it’s completion last November.

Lisa said: “It was a very tough decision.

“The last thing Oxfam wants to do is close shops.

“The last couple of years have been difficult and things haven’t really picked up like we’d hoped.

“The landlords were sympathetic to our plight but the proposed rise in rent ultimately meant we had to close.

“It’s a great shame for our volunteers, they have put their heart and soul into the shop.”