Charity Donations

Charity shops off to a flying start with restrictions lifting

Charity shops off to a flying start following the lifting of restrictions

Charity shops across the UK have seen an increase in donations, even the ones that have remained closed, with items being left outside the shops. Charities have requested that items are not dumped outside the front of the shops. Once items are dumped on the floor they are unable to be used, meaning what was intended to be a charity donation will need to be binned.

Charities around the country are finding themselves in the unusual position of asking would-be donors to ‘think before giving’.

Charity shops managed a record-breaking return to trading up and down the UK this week as restrictions on non-essential shops were lifted. The increased number of donations has meant that some charity shops without storage facilities available to them have had to reject donations.

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Charity Retail Association’s Chief executive Robin Osterley said:

“We have two asks of the generous public. Be thoughtful, is this stuff you’d be prepared to buy yourself? The second is to contact the shop before you roll up with armfuls of goods.”

Hospiscare revealed that only 25% of donations go on sale in the shops. While 55% are recycled, and 20% is recorded and disposed of as commercial waste, this is likely to be the same for many charity shops. The same charity published details of a £32,000 annual disposable bill.

The charity pointed out the waste bill is the same for the costs of a senior nurse used to care for one of the charity’s patients.

Managing donations has been a learning curve for the sector during COVID-19, as lockdowns have understandably prompted many people into clear-outs of unwanted goods.

Overall, Mr Osterley believes that charity shops are better prepared this time around, with many only open to shoppers, not donators, this week.

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Top tips for decluttering your house and donating to charities:

Find the 'easy wins' first - what would be the big ticket items?

Allocate a day a week to the project

Box similar items together

Keep your eye on the prize - decluttering effectively and making useful donations!

Think! Would you buy the item you want to donate in the condition it’s in?


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