Drop in donations to charity shops
2 February 2012
Staff at Barnsley Hospice are appealing for more unwanted goods to be given to their charity shops after a decline in donations of almost ten per cent.
Between April and December 2011 a total of 30,955 bag loads of goods were donated, compared with 34,280 over the same period in 2010.
Every year the hospice needs to raise £1.9 million from supporters to stay open, with nearly £900,000 of that generated by its shops, and it is feared that a lack of stock could hit takings if more does not come in.
Retail services manager Dawn Charlesworth said: “What we’ve seen is a reduction in the number of bags donated to us so far this financial year, compared with last year. We know that a lot of our regular supporters are tightening their belts due to the tough economic times and they’re perhaps hanging on to clothes and household goods longer than they might have in the past.
“What we want to do is get the word out that we really need to replenish our stocks, especially to those people who might not have thought of donating goods to us before. All the money spent in our hospice shops stays in Barnsley and helps people in the town at a time in their lives when they need it the most.”
Dawn said the number of single transactions made at hospice stores during that period rose slightly from 115,715 to 116,140, indicating strong demand for what the shops offer.
She added: “There’s clearly a demand, again because of the current economic climate. We’re really keen to make sure we have plenty of quality stock for people to browse through.”
Barnsley Hospice, at Gawber, provides inpatient and day care for anyone in Barnsley with a life-threatening condition, not only cancer patients. It also offers care in patients’ own homes as well as a range of other services. All care is free to the patient.
The hospice has seven general shops in the Barnsley area which sell clothes, bric-a-brac, household goods and books. In addition, it has two furniture shops.
Last year total income from the outlets came to around £890,000. Even clothes and fabric that cannot be sold are valuable as sales to a local rag merchant raised £90,000.
Staff are now considering ways of making it more convenient to donate goods to the hospice shops. These could include extending opening times or doing more collections in communities.
Currently items can be donated at any of the shops between 9am and 4pm or left in the shed at the back of the hospice. Collections can be arranged for large donations by calling 01226 244244. Anyone thinking of making a donation of furniture should call 01226 771715 beforehand.
The hospice shops also always need volunteers to help carry out a range of roles and managers would like to hear from anyone who can spare a few hours of their time. Training is given.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Barnsley Hospice’s general shops are in The Arcade and Eldon Street, in Barnsley town centre, and at Wombwell, Mexborough, Goldthorpe, Mapplewell and Penistone. Its two furniture shops are in Blucher Street and at Stairfoot.
Barnsley Hospice’s main aim is to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients while supporting their relatives and friends during the period of illness and bereavement.
Its services include specialist pain and symptom management, complementary therapies, counselling and support groups. There is also a service for people who have lymphoedema – a build-up of fluid in the body which causes swelling. It can be a side effect of cancer or radiotherapy but it can affect people who do not have cancer.
Barnsley Hospice receives £1.6m from the NHS each year, but has to raise an additional £1.9m to stay open.