Our donation station is open and ready to receive your bags!

We’ve created a special, temporary drop-off depot for donated stock at our Shrewsbury hospice site at the end of Clayton Way in Bicton (SY3 8HS).

Open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm, this is the only place we can accept donations for the time being as all our shops are currently closed.

And our Head of Retail, Ross Henderson, is urging supporters to remember that quality counts when it comes to donating stock for our shops – otherwise a donation could end up costing us money to dispose of.

“If you wouldn’t buy it, we can’t sell it,” said Ross, who is also gearing up to a phased reopening of our shops starting in June.

Pre-pandemic anything that could not be sold in our shops was bought by a licensed company which then resold or recycled it, so we were still raising funds for care.

But the economic impact of the pandemic means the market for these ‘resaleable goods’, as they are known in the charity retail sector, has dramatically changed.

“We totally appreciate our supporters but everything has been affected by the pandemic and we can’t expect our usual routes for non-saleable stock to work in the same way they did before,” said Ross.

The risk is that any stock not sold through the till then becomes a cost to dispose of safely.

“I suspect many people will have done a lockdown clear-out of wardrobes and cupboards with charity shops in mind. We’re braced to receive these bags of generosity but the last thing we want is for people to think they’ve helped us when they’ve actually caused us a bit of a problem,” he added.

“Our temporary depot will let people drop their bags safely and go,” said Ross.

Stock will be quarantined before retail staff will then sort it for sale on racks and rails. All clothing is checked and steamed prior to going on sale.

Our first shop is not expected to open until June 15 at the earliest because of all the precautions that will now need to be put in place, said Ross.

“We want our shoppers to feel safe when they support us so we are looking at what arrangements we need to put in place in all our shops, starting with one only. As well as us getting it right, we know shoppers themselves will need to get used to a new way of browsing and buying, so we will be opening our shops gradually in phases,” he added.

Thanks to our supporters donating and buying in our 28 shops, we are usually able to raise more than £1 million a year from them.

But all have been shut by the lockdown and there has been no way we could receive donations of stock. With all our events cancelled too and supporters confined to their homes we have lost around £100,000 a week in fundraising.

Ross added: “We asked people to support us from their sofas and they have responded so positively to that message so I’m confident our supporters will see how they can now help their donations to our shops count.”

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