Donations sought to help fight 

A charity which tackles poverty is appealing for donations of collectables and antiques for a new eBay venture which will fund support services.

The St Vincent Support Centre on York Road in Leeds works with families facing destitution, providing a range of free support services including debt advice, adult education and employment support.

It also gives away around 500 emergency food parcels every year to families in extreme poverty. The new eBay venture will raise money to fund the free support services.

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Manager Charlotte Walton said that the economic climate has meant that charities have had to find new ways of generating income.

“Everyone is struggling financially, which means charities have seen a reduction in donations,” she said. “Grant funding is harder to secure and last year St Vincent’s was facing closure so we had to think more creatively about how we could finance the charity.

“Selling items via eBay is a great way to generate income – but we need donations of collectables including old books, furniture, ceramics, watches and jeweller or anything unusual. Every penny we make from eBay will fund our free services for families living in poverty.”

The centre expects to see an increase in demand as the winter approaches and families living on low incomes struggle to heat their homes. More than 7,000 people use the centre every year and Mrs Walton said for many it is a life-line, particularly those with complex needs such as mental health and learning difficulties.

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Demand for the centre’s free support services has increased by more than 30 per cent in the last two years as more families face unemployment, rising costs of living and financial struggles.

As well as donations, St Vincent’s is seeking volunteers who can help run the eBay project, listing items, tracking progress, and packaging/posting goods to buyers.