A CHARITY shop boss has issued an urgent appeal for people to come forward with donations of clothes, furniture and toys after a 60 per cent drop over the last year.
Jill Dixon is the manager of the YMCA store, in Raby Road, Hartlepool, and she believes ‘cash-for-clothes’ shops that have popped up around Hartlepool are starting to have an impact on the level of donations.
Donations of toys, furniture and clothes are all down compared to this time last year and Mrs Dixon said customers coming into the shop have noticed there isn’t as much as there used to be.
A recent bag-drop around town of 800 bags saw just nine returned with donations in. A fresh appeal for donations has now been made.
The Raby Road store has been open for four years this month and Mrs Dixon said stock levels have never been so low.
Mrs Dixon said: “Donations are down 60 per cent compared with this time last year.
“Donations of furniture and clothes are down and toys especially, which isn’t ideal in the run-up to Christmas.
“A lot of cash-for-clothes type shops have opened up in town and we believe this is having a negative effect on our donations.
“I appreciate it is a difficult time for anybody but I would just ask that people donate here if possible.”
The YMCA store has two paid members of staff and 15 volunteers but Mrs Dixon said she has had to reduce the number of hours some of the volunteers are working because there isn’t as much stock in to sell.
Mrs Dixon added: “We sent out 800 bags recently across the town but only got nine back.
“It then becomes too expensive to send the bags out because of the lack of donations we are getting back in.”
The YMCA shop - one of 150 across the country for the national youth charity - is open Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5pm and sells furniture plus clothing, books, CDs, DVDs and bric-a-brac.
In most areas funds raised through YMCA shops are put into the local YMCA to help transform communities.
The YMCA store do a free pick-up for furniture. People are asked to call the shop on (01429) 861055 for more information.