Charity shops ask that people ‘be thoughtful’ before giving after lockdown

‘Is this stuff you’d be prepared to buy yourself?’

Ellie Abraham@ellieabraham
Thursday 15 April 2021 13:07
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The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone and, across the country, communities have come together to help one another in such unprecedented times.

However, for charity shops, the worry is that this charitable spirit will see an unmanageable rise in donations after lockdown, as well as overcrowded shops.

Chairman of the Charity Retail Association, Robin Osterley, said: “We have two asks of the generous public.

“Be thoughtful - is this stuff you’d be prepared to buy yourself? And the second is to contact the shop before you roll up with armfuls of goods.”

People are asked to ring ahead and book a time slot to drop off their donations to ensure there is the capacity.

On Monday 12 April, along with other non-essential retail, charity shops were permitted to reopen in England and Wales.

The British Heart Foundation reported its busiest ever day of shopping in its stores, achieving £1million in sales.

The Salvation Army also saw a record number of sales and Oxfam reported a 77 per cent increase in sales on 2019.

With the pandemic impacting many people financially, charity shops offer the chance for shoppers to find things they need for a fraction of the price it would cost new.

Charity shops also provide employment and volunteer positions for those who may otherwise be isolated.

Some charities have had to turn away donations at points during the pandemic due to the overwhelming response from the British public. Osterley expressed his gratitude to the people who have held onto their goods until a time they are able to donate them.

He said: “People have been sitting on piles of clothes for a long time, and we are grateful they have been doing that.

“For us it’s been more frustrating to be classed as non-essential retail. We feel we are very much essential.”

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