‘A bit crazy’ - Charity shops see flood of donations as stores reopen for business
- Credit: Kathryn Cross
Charity shops in mid-Norfolk are reporting a tidal wave of donations since reopening their doors, with one in Attleborough receiving 85 bags and boxes in just one day.
As retail plays a hugely important role in providing a funding stream for charities, many stores have been quick to reopen since lockdown restrictions were lifted, with others working hard with limited volunteers to put necessary measures in place to get tills ringing again.
But as any donations have to be quarantined by the stores for 72 hours before they can be put on display it has meant some have had to set time restrictions for customer drop-offs between certain hours in order to give staff the chance to process them.
The Break charity shop in Attleborough opened a couple of weeks ago and was one of the first to welcome customers back.
Manager Anne-Marie Smith said it had been “a bit crazy”. She added: “We had 85 bags and boxes donated in one day and for the first time yesterday we had to have a sign on the door saying we could not take anything in. We would advise customers to ring us first because we don’t like to turn anyone away.”
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Break in Wymondham opened on Monday and manager Janice Batten said they “didn’t know where to turn” at times with the scale of donations being dropped off but added: “We are very pleased to be open and our customers are happy to see us again.”
Big C opened its Craft and Furniture Emporium on Allenbrooks Way in Wymondham on Monday, with director of corporate services Dale Coleman saying it had been a “great start” with a good flow of customers and donations.
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In Dereham several charity shops remain closed but Cancer Research UK, RSPCA, YMCA and Venture Farm are now open.
Elaine Jones, manager of the Cancer Research UK shop in the High Street, said so far they had not had to turn any donations away but were repurposing the changing rooms at times for storage.
“We’ve had some lovely stuff coming in,” she said. “I’ve got five staff helping me every day but still 25 volunteers unable to come back yet.”
• Attleborough Break, 13 Church St – 8.30am-4.30pm (donations first hour and last hour) Monday to Saturday
• Big C, Old Post Office, High Street – donations only 10am-1pm Wednesdays
• RSPCA, Central House, Exchange Street – 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday
• Dereham Cancer Research UK, 9 High St – 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Saturday
• RSPCA, 15 High Street – 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday (donations via the front of the shop)
• Venture Farm Animal Trust, 17 Norwich St - 9.30am–4pm Monday to Saturday
• YMCA, 36 High Street – 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday
• Wymondham Big C, 8 Market Place – donations only 10am-1pm Wednesdays
• Big C Craft and Furniture Emporium, 2-4 Allenbrooks Way – 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday
• Break, 18 Market Street – 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday (donations first hour and last hour), closed for an hour at lunch for cleaning
• Children’s Society, 30 Market St – proposed reopening Tuesday, July 21 10am-3pm (donations between 3pm and 4pm dropping off at the rear of the shop)
• British Red Cross, 13 Norwich Road - preparing to hopefully open week commencing July 13, they advise customers to follow their Facebook page for information.
• RSPCA, 1 Church St – 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday (morning donation drop offs)
• Star Throwers, 4 Middleton St – opening on Saturday, July 11 10am-4pm and every Saturday thereafter