A petition has started after a charity shop on Orpington High Street is being forced to close after 15 years because of increased rent.

St Christopher's confirmed that the charity shop will shut in March - although they are looking for other premises in Orpington so the "wonderful staff" can continue their work.

Lisa Balenza, 50, has volunteered at the shop for four years.

She told News Shopper: "Everyone is disappointed. Everyone likes working here and the atmosphere is good and we do good trade.

"Customers can't believe it is closing. You can get a really good bargain there. We put out really good stuff."

Staff at St Christopher's started the petition to save the shop last week and it has been signed by dozens of customers who have since visited. 

"We have some real regulars," Lisa added. "As soon as they hear the news they want to sign the petition.

"It is a mega loss to the High Street. It will end up like a ghost town at this rate because a few places are closing down. It will only be cafe's and restaurants left."

Lisa said she hopes another premises can at least be found so she can continue her volunteer work for the charity.

A spokeswoman for St Christopher's said: "After considerable thought and consultation, we have taken the decision to close our Orpington charity shop in March 2018.

"Due to high rents, we were unable to raise the funds required to make this a viable business option for us, despite the best efforts and dedication shown by both our staff and volunteers.

"St Christopher’s is fortunate to have had such amazing staff and volunteers in Orpington. We will be relocating the two members of staff who run our current shop and also hope our wonderful Orpington volunteers can continue to lend their skills to St Christopher’s in our nearby Petts Wood, Locksbottom and St Paul’s Cray shops.

"St Christopher’s couldn’t continue without the support of all our volunteers.

"The people of Orpington have been tremendously supportive to us over the last 15 years and so we hope to find new premises in the area that are more cost effective for us as a charity so that we continue to be part of the community we serve."