Donations of goods to hospice plummet

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DONATIONS of goods to Barnsley Hospice have fallen by 10 per cent over the last year, it was revealed yesterday.

Staff at the hospice in Gawber are now appealing for more unwanted goods to be given to their seven general shops and two furniture shops across Barnsley.

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.

Each year the hospice needs to raise £1.9m to stay open, with nearly £900,000 of that generated by its chain of shops.

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.”

Ms Charlesworth added that the number of transactions made at hospice shops has actually risen over the same period of time, from 115,715 to 116,140, indicating “strong demand.”

She said: “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.”

Last year, income from the hospice shops came to around £890,000.

Items can be donated at any of the shops between 9am and 4pm or left in a shed at the back of the hospice.