A charity shop has had to shut its doors and say goodbye to its volunteers after an "impossible" rent hike.

Save the Children, in Debden Broadway, Loughton, was asked to fork out an extra £8,000 a year on its lease by Epping Forest District Council - something it could not afford.

It made its last sale on Tuesday.

Head of store operations, Diane Eyre, said: “We’re so disappointed to close our Loughton store.

"We exist to make the biggest difference to children’s lives, and rent increases mean that keeping the store open is impossible at this time. Our store in Loughton has raised vital funds over the past 38 years, funds which have given thousands of children the chance to thrive and make their mark on the world. I want to thank our dedicated volunteering team and our supporters who have changed children’s lives over the years.”

It quickly became a high street staple when it opened in 38 years ago, supporting the charity which helps children in developing countries.

But when its £21,000 rent was raised to £29,000 earlier this year, charity bosses made the decision not to renew the lease.

Head of shop development, Kate Avenell, added: "It’s no secret that across the sector we face a constantly changing, and increasingly challenging retail landscape. We recognise the importance of both a rigorous, and holistic decision making process before renewing any shop lease. Leases are long term financial commitments for our organisation and we hold ourselves accountable for ensuring return on these investments.

"It is always extremely difficult to make the decision to close a shop, particularly as we recognise the enormous contribution our wonderful volunteers in Loughton have made to Save the Children.

"The team have shown enormous passion and commitment to our cause and we would like share a huge thank you for all that they have achieved.

"We never underestimate the value of our supporters and we’re committed to offering an exciting range of alternative opportunities. Our goal is to ensure that we enable volunteers to engage in the most relevant and rewarding options within their community.”

In March, the Epping Forest Guardian reportedhow a number of businesses in the area were being forced to close as they would not be able to afford the rent incresases.

At the time Joyce Shelley, who has been helping out since 1992, told the Epping Forest Guardian: "I think they want us out. They want everybody out so they can knock the whole thing down."

Pirates Den hardware shop on The Broadway, Debden shut its doors for a final time after 12 years of trading in February after the council asked for £10,000 more a year.

Along The Broadway Ice Events, World of Pets, Eye gee Opticians, Love Tag, K & P Family Butchers, P A Sparks & Sons Greengrocers and Tony's Hardware are all also considering their future.

At the time, an Epping Forest District Council spokesperson explained that rents from shops in the Broadway is used to pay for other public services and that it was in everyone in the district's interest for them to thrive, and that the Langston Road centre stopped shoppers going elsewhere.

They said: "In any high street some businesses will be doing better than others at any given time but demand for vacated units in the Broadway is very high"