Second Chance: Archway charity shop’s Pride-themed window display targeted by vandals hours after being unveiled

The smashed window display at Second Chance in St John's Way, Archway. Picture: Ali Mitib

The smashed window display at Second Chance in St John's Way, Archway. Picture: Ali Mitib - Credit: Archant

An Archway charity shop had its window smashed hours after unveiling a Pride-themed display.

The smashed window display at Second Chance in St John's Way, Archway. Picture: Ali Mitib

The smashed window display at Second Chance in St John's Way, Archway. Picture: Ali Mitib - Credit: Archant

To celebrate this weekend's LGBTQ+ festival, volunteers and staff at Second Chance spent their Saturday afternoon dressing the shop display with Pride memorabilia.

Deputy manager Crispin Dawes left the shop at 6.30pm. At 1pm the next day, a volunteer noticed the shop window had been broken.

"We are very saddened and disappointed by this," he told us yesterday. "It is very upsetting to think that there is one person who, whatever their motive, is so angry and destructive."

He added: "It is a great shame that we have to take some of the money which could go to a deserving charity and spend it on replacing a sheet of glass."

The smashed window at Second Chance in Archway. Picture: Crispin Dawes

The smashed window at Second Chance in Archway. Picture: Crispin Dawes - Credit: Archant


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Second Chance, which has been in St John's Way for more than 20 years, was once included on Time Out's list of the top charity shops in London.

The store is known for its eye-catching displays, which celebrate seasonal holidays including St Patrick's Day, Christmas, Ramadan and Diwali.

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"This isn't a specifically gay shop," said Crispin. "It is a shop for the community and we cater for absolutely everybody."

It's not yet known whether the incident was a homophobic attack motivated by the shop's display, but Crispin did say the shop had never experienced a similar attack in the past.

"I am in two minds about whether it was a genuinely homophobic attack or whether some drunk person was walking past with an empty beer bottle and threw it," he said.

The window display will remain in place until the end of Pride Week.

"We are not changing the window. We want to continue celebrating Pride week and we will not give satisfaction to a possibly homophobic attacker," he said.

"Whatever the cause, vandalism is not welcome in this community. We will not be threatened or intimidated."

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