Major national UK charities – as well as hundreds of smaller charities and local hospices – today joined forces in a drive to generate more donations for charity shops.
The Choose Charity Shops campaign, led by the Charity Retail Association, is being supported by St Mary’s Hospice. St Mary’s is delighted that local MP’s Tim Farron and John Woodcock will be calling at two of their shops on the 18th May to raise awareness and show their support for making donations to charity shops. Mr Farron will be at the St Mary’s Hospice Bowness shop at 11.30am and Mr Woodcock will be at the St Mary’s Hospice shop in Barrow at 3pm.
Charity shop popularity is at an all-time high, and charity shops raise over £200 million every year for a huge range of charitable causes. They provide 180,000 volunteering opportunities, and 17,000 jobs nationwide. In addition, they re-use and recycle whatever they can, reducing UK carbon emissions by approximately 3.7 million tonnes every year.
However, they thrive on donations of unwanted items, and many shops are facing real difficulties in getting donations through the door. The majority of people in the UK have unwanted items of clothing in their wardrobes that they aren’t using, let alone other household items such as toys or bric-a-brac, that could be put to use by charities.
This week nearly 6,000 charity shops in the UK are coming together to ask members of the public to make a donation to a charity shop in their area and pledge to donate to charity shops for the coming year.
Events are taking place across the country to support the campaign. Ministers and MPs, including Eric Pickles, Theresa May, Danny Alexander and Hilary Benn are taking part and making a donation to their local charity shop – and charities are organising events locally to encourage more members of the public to donate.
Warren Alexander, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, said: ‘Charity shops simply can’t survive without donations of items from the public to sell, and the thousands of charity shops taking part in this week’s campaign shows how big an issue this is. Donating items to a charity shop is a great way to support a good cause when people have less money to give by way of cash donations. This week, charities across the country are joining forces to ask the British public to have that clear out and take unwanted items down to their local charity shop.”
Zoe Guest, Funding & Operations Manager from St Mary’s Hospice, said “St Mary's currently has 9 shops; the aim of these is to provide a regular and sustainable source of income to support our work. To us, our shops are the public face of St Mary's and bring awareness of what we do into the heart of all our communities. Donating items to a charity shop is a great way to support our cause when people have less money to give by way of cash donations. Every donation we receive helps us to help local people who need our support.”