Double whammy hits charity shops

SOME charity shops are becoming desperate for more goods to sell - with people hanging onto items longer and donating less.

SOME charity shops are becoming desperate for more goods to sell - with people hanging onto items longer and donating less.

All the shops say they are seeing more customers as the recession starts to bite with people looking for bargains.

Teresa Fonnereau, manager of the Cancer Research UK shop in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, said the amount of donations had dropped dramatically.

“We were regularly having 120 to 150 bags of items of different sorts come in on a Saturday, but now this has dropped down to about 20 a week,” she said.

“I think people are simply hanging on to things longer, especially clothes, and not going out and buying new stuff as they might have done a few months ago.

“That means people are donating less to charity shops, leaving us less goods to sell to raise money for charity.

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“At the same time we have loads of customers just wanting to buy items because people are looking to do so as cheaply as they can.”

Nationally, profits at charity shops broke through the �100 million mark last year - up seven per cent - as consumers struggling with the credit crunch hunted for bargains, with clothes, books, bed linen, DVDs and furniture selling really well.

Paula Cammack, manager of the British Heart Foundation store in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, said: “We are having a lot more people come through the door - we have a regular customer base but there are lots of extra people, too, now.

“Our donations seem to be fairly steady but there could be a knock-on effect in a few months' time. The key is to sell quality items and run a nice clean shop so people enjoy coming in.”

A spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Hamilton Road said donations and customers were down in the past two weeks but felt this was weather-related and hopefully would pick up again once the cold spell is over.

Are you hanging onto clothes and other items longer instead of buying new? How is the recession affecting your family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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