DESPERATE staff at a Spalding charity shop are offering to collect goods from people’s homes in a bid to halt a massive fall in donations.
Secondhand goods donated to The British Heart Foundation in Market Place have dropped by 30 per cent.
Shop manager Karen Rate said: “The recent extreme weather conditions have left many people in Spalding unable to give.
“This has a severe impact on our ability to raise funds and we’d like to appeal to the public for help.”
The charity’s area manager, Linda Puchala, said: “We saw a general decline in the middle of last year.
“It started to decline a little bit but we have been seriously hit by the cold weather.It means our stock levels are very low.”
Staff say they are extremely grateful for all of the support given over the years and want to make it easier for people to give.
Free collections can be arranged by calling the shop on 01775 713566.
Elsewhere in Spalding there is a mixed picture for donations to charity shops.
Sue Ryder Care, in Francis Street, has seen a general decline in donations, but The Butterfly Hospice shop, in Station Street, has benefited from unwavering support.
Sue Ryder manager Chris Kelly said: “I think donations have dropped but not necessarily just for the cold weather – I think for the economic climate as well.
“People are hanging on to their clothes. I think with sites like eBay people are tending to sell their clothes for themselves.
“I think it has been a gradual fall over a period of time. We definitely don’t get in as many donations as we did.”
The Spalding Sue Ryder branch is fortunate because the charity has a distribution centre at Peterborough and it can call on those stock reserves when needed.
The Butterfly Hospice with six beds for terminally ill people is due to open in the grounds of Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital in February.
Sue Alexander, who manages the hospice shop in Spalding, said their donations are holding up because people are keen to support a local charity.
She said: “People have been wonderful, absolutely wonderful, we are very grateful for it.”
Charity shop customer Gary Norman, a father of two from Gedney, lost his job two-and-a-half years ago following a back injury and says charity shops are a lifeline for families on low incomes.
He said: “I buy clothes, mainly. You can get jeans for £2 and my Kickers top cost £1.50.
“People shop in charity shops because they can get good quality stuff for a cheap price.”