Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell to open ethical shop in Lewes

New shop opening in the Needlemakers in Lewes. Owner Helen Hitchock.
New shop opening in the Needlemakers in Lewes. Owner Helen Hitchock.

Former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, who played Zoe Tate, will perform the official opening of a new ethical shop in Lewes on Saturday May 8.

Helping Elsewhere, which will sell jewellery, clothes and homewares from India and Nepal, will open in the Needle Makers in Lewes on Saturday May 2.

Leah Bracknell

Leah Bracknell

Founder Helen Hitchcock said in the first week of trading in Lewes ten percent of the profits would go towards helping the Nepal earthquake appeal.

Helen said: “The disaster in Nepal has affected us personally. We work with three families there who supply us with goods and at the moment we are not sure if they are OK.

“But we are so pleased to have the chance to have our second outlet in Lewes, a town that is special to Tracey Eaton, who works alongside me.

“We take great pride in sourcing our products ethically and know just about everyone who makes the items that we sell.”

Helping Elsewhere opened its first shop in Cobblestone Walk, Steyning, in 2012.

A percentage of profits is returned to India, where the money is used to fund educational projects for children.

In its first week of trading, the Lewes shop will donate its profits to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Nepal Earthquake appeal.

Leah, who is also a yoga teacher in Worthing, will be at the shop from 11am to cut the ribbon, talk with visitors and present a cheque for a school in the Himalayas.

Helen splits her time between Sussex and India.

When in India, she works to find new suppliers and develop new educational projects.

Helping Elsewhere was founded in Goa in 2007. It gives much-needed financial help to Indian educational projects, including providing schools and isolated communities with books and vital equipment for learning.

The suppliers for Helping Elsewhere from Nepal are based in Bhaktapur about eight miles from Kathamandu, which was badly hit by the earthquake.

Nepal’s prime minister, Sushil Koirala, has warned that the number killed in the earthquake could more than double to 10,000 people.

The earthquake hit on Saturday April 25.