24-hour donation point installed at Ipswich charity shop
PUBLISHED: 16:30 27 November 2019
A charity shop in Ipswich has installed a brand-new device to help members of the public donate at any time of the day or night.
The Samaritans branch in Carr Street, Ipswich has installed a new contactless card reader to allow cashless donations to the charity 24 hours a day.
All members of the public have to do is hold their contactless card or device up to the machine in the shop's window.
With each tap, donors can give £2 to the charity - all without even having to enter the shop.
The idea came about after the branch bought a contactless card reader to use for cash collections at events its volunteers attend.
"We often hold collections at events like after football matches," said Gary Grayson, a shop co-ordinator for the Samaritans.
"We bought a card reader. It's a hand-held device and it's rechargeable.
"In between us doing these collections though, the machine is sitting around idle."
With this in mind the charity decided that the device could play a more visible role in its shop.
"We rang up the company that produces the devices to ask if it works behind glass," said Mr Grayson.
"Then we made the sign ourselves and put it in the window.
"It's 24/7 and it's positioned quite low for disabled people to be able to use it."
In recent years the charity has noticed a change in the way that people pay for goods within their stores.
"We have definitely noticed that people don't have cash in their pockets," said Mr Grayson.
"Everybody is so used to paying by contactless.
"So having a contactless machine that we can just have out that says 'contactless donations' is really good."
The set-up appears to unique to the Carr Street branch, although similar methods of contactless donations are used by other charities.
"It's not in any other Samaritans branches that I am aware of," said Mr Grayson.
Members of the public are already making use of the new donation point.
If you need the Samaritans help contact them 24/7 on their free helpline on 116123.