The Charity Retail Association has launched a campaign urging the public to stop leaving items outside of closed charity shops or already full donation banks. The public are asked to hold on to their donations until shops reopen unless their preferred charity offers alternative donation options. The public’s generous donations will help charities respond to increasing demand for their services due to the pandemic at the same time as a dramatic fall in income due to the closure of charity shops and cancellation of fundraising events.

Charity shops are currently closed due to the lockdown with staff and volunteers unable to access their shops to process donations. Donations dropped off outside charity shops or overflowing donation banks, are getting destroyed by the weather conditions or ruined by animals. Charity shops are not going to get the value of donations abandoned outside their doors but quite the opposite, it will cost them money to dispose of ruined donations.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association says:  “With so many people using the lockdown as an opportunity to have a clear out, we are grateful to everyone who is putting aside items to donate to charity shops. We are optimistic that when charity shops reopen there will be a surge in donations of high-quality pre-loved items and strong customer sales which will raise much needed funds to help those in need.”

To make sure that donations do not go to waste we are urging people not to abandon donated items outside of closed shops or next to already full donation banks. The accumulation of abandoned donations outside closed shops creates a major problem as they will be quickly ruined by the weather, become a public nuisance and potentially risk public safety. It costs charities and local councils significant large sums to dispose of ruined donations left on the street.”

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation, adds: “Since the more recent closure of our shops, we have had some incidents of donations being left outside and although we appreciate the public’s enthusiasm to donate, we would kindly ask that no items are left at shops or donation bank sites, as we are currently unable to collect them, meaning they end up as waste which we have to pay to dispose of.

Once it is safe for us to reopen and start our collection services again, we will be hugely grateful to receive any clothes, home wares or furniture, all of which will help us continue our vital work to fund heart research.

We truly appreciate the continued support and would encourage those decluttering during this time to also consider posting us any unwanted, quality items such as jewellery, books or vinyl records via our freepost service at bhf.org.uk/postyourdonations.”