King’s Lynn charity shop stages bra amnesty to raise money for new Thorpe Hall hospice

Jacky Parker at the Sue Ryder superstore, which is holding a bra amnesty. Picture: Ian Burt Jacky Parker at the Sue Ryder superstore, which is holding a bra amnesty. Picture: Ian Burt

Friday, January 24, 2014
4:43 PM

A charity shop is staging a special bra amnesty to raise money by helping women in developing countries.

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King’s Lynn’s Sue Ryder superstore, on the St Nicholas Retail Park, hopes to earn money towards providing hospice care by selling unwanted garments to a recycling company.

But it fears some women may be too embarassed to bring in their undies.

Now staff are placing a special box near the door, where anyone wishing to donate their old bras can do so discreetly.

“I want to stop ladies dumping them in the dustbin because they’re too embarassed to bring them in,” said store manager Jacky Parker.

“We won’t peek. We’ll have a donation station so people can just put them in a bag and drop them in.”

Miss Parker said the bras would earn an income for the charity by being recycled and shipped out to Third World countries. Bras are one of the most lucrative items shops can recycle.

Miss Parker said the garments were still regarded as a status symbol in some rural areas of Africa.

“It’s unbelieveable,” she said. “It’s a treasured thing to have for them. It’s something we take for granted but it’s like giving them the moon, the sun and the stars, it’s such a big thing.”

Sue Ryder is trying to raise £6m by March 2015 to transform its hospice in the grounds of Thorpe Hall, near Peterorough, which was bequeathed by its founder.

It hopes to build a new centre with 20 private rooms next to its existing hospice, which will offer people with life-limiting conditions a more modern and comfortable environment.

Sue Ryder – who was a former special operations driver during the Second World War – set up the Sue Ryder Foundation in 1953.

It now operates 80 homes and has 500 charity shops nationwide and as far afield as the Ascension Islands.

The bra amnesty box will be at the Sue Ryder shop on the St Nicholas Retail Park in King’s Lynn throughout February.

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