Today I spent most of the afternoon in a "charity shop" which one of the other young ladies from my home group manages. It was a nice afternoon in the fairly small, one-room shop.
I think this must be what Goodwill stores were like originally, but I'm not sure. Thrift stores in the States are very different than charity shops in the UK. This one is owned by a network of local churches who give out the proceeds from the shop as well as additional funds they steward to local charities. They provide a service to the low-income residents of the neighboring community by offering low cost clothing and household items.
The shop has one part-time manager and is otherwise run by volunteers. Most of them are ladies who volunteer once or several times a week.
This is definitely a part of the British culture. There are small charity shops all over. I find it interesting.