Please note: due to the coronavirus pandemic, the way accept donations has changed. Follow this link to read the latest guidance before donating. Thank you.
A hospice is urging the public to only donate good-quality items to its shops to help combat the growing and costly problem of waste disposal.
St Richard’s Hospice has begun reopening shops across Worcestershire and plans to start accepting donations at select locations from Tuesday, June 30.
Donations of good-quality items helped to raise more than £731,000 net for the hospice’s care during 2019/20.
However, it cost the charity at least £22,950 to dispose of donations which were in too poor condition to be sold, and could not be recycled, such as dirty, broken and ripped items.
Dan Corns, Commercial Director at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We rely on the generosity of our community donating good-quality items for us to sell.
“It is only thanks to support of our donors and customers we can raise such an important amount for our care to patients and loved ones.
“But the huge challenge of disposing of unsaleable donations is very costly – both in taking up our time, and finances, which would be better spent on working to support our hospice services.
“This is a significant and growing problem affecting the whole charity shop sector, not just St Richard’s Hospice.”
The hospice has launched an information campaign on its website and social media, advising donors on which items can and cannot be accepted for sale in its shops. View the campaign page here.
In 2019/20, more than a million items were donated in too poor condition to be sold in the hospice’s shops, equating to twice the amount sold that year.
Before the pandemic, recycling companies – or rag merchants – would pay an amount to the hospice to recycle items. However, due to the pandemic, these companies are now more selective about the items they accept – meaning it is even more important for donations to be of good quality, so as much as possible can be resold in the hospice’s shops.
“We often receive items which are broken and dirty, which we simply cannot resell in our shops,” explained Mr Corns.
“There are other items we are unable to take too, such as videos, cassettes, toys without CE labels and furniture without fire labels.
“Now more than ever, we need you to be thoughtful about what you are giving us. Please do not be offended if we cannot take your items, we are simply working to do the best we can for our patients and families.
“Our shops are here to raise funds to support the hospice’s care to patients and loved ones. Help us continue to do this by ensuring you donate
good quality items
“I would like to thank everyone for their understanding and support. We are so grateful for the generosity of our community, and hope to see you soon.”
The hospice has announced dates, times and locations for its donation points across the county. The dates are subject to change, based on the volume of donations.
Donors will be asked to drop their items directly into containers, or a hospice van, and not to take donations into the shops. Donations must be in a box, or secured bag, and appropriately wrapped.
To meet infection control guidelines, the containers/vans will be locked, isolating the donations for 72 hours before they are processed.
The hospice shops which are now open to the public include: St Swithin’s Street, Worcester, the Malvern Link Department Store, the Malvern Link Book and Media Store, Kidderminster, Pershore and Tewkesbury Fashion Store. Its shop in Stourport will reopen on Thursday, and the Bewdley store on Friday. It is also hoped its Evesham store will reopen this week.
Visit the hospice’s website for details on how to donate your items, and to read its guide to donation ‘dos and don’ts’: www.strichards.org.uk/our-shops/quality-donation-campaign