It is the most higgledy-piggledy of Surbiton’s many charity shops – where a good root around is most likely to turn up a hidden gem.

The Fircroft Trust, in St Andrew’s Road, is famously stacked to the rafters with books, pictures and bric-a-brac.

That is down to manager Julie Moss, who said she does not turn down a donation because “you never know what you might find”.

But she only became the manager by accident, after volunteering for more than a year.

She said: “The shop wasn’t going to be opened one day and I didn’t like that.

“I said to my boss, ‘Who’s going to open it?’ “He said, ‘You can, if you like.’”

That was 18 months ago, and Mrs Moss, who lives in Surbiton, has not looked back.

She said: “I love it. I love all my volunteers – it’s like a big happy family.

“I couldn’t do it without the volunteers.

“It’s not often that a person can say they enjoy going to work.”

The shop’s bulging shelves are due to the generosity of residents.

Surrey Comet:

Julie Moss describes the Fircroft Trust shop as "organised clutter"

Mrs Moss said: “We get a lot of donations in.

“Far more than I can really take on, but I can’t say no to anything in case there’s a gem in the pile.

“It’s very untidy but it’s organised clutter. The customers love it.

“They love to rummage.”

Fircroft chief executive Kay Harris said: “It looks very quirky. Julie has put her own mark on it and made it very different to the other shops.

“She’s passionate about trying to raise as much money as possible.

“All the money that they raise has gone directly to run the centre at Surbiton.

“When you’re a chain it goes into a big pot whereas it doesn’t when it is a local charity.

“Julie is really terrific with customers, and other staff and volunteers – they really love her.”

Do you know an unsung hero? Call the newsdesk on 020 8722 6313 or email