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  • "First, as a fairly regular customer, I would like to say thanks to all of the staff in our local charity shops , most of whom are volunteers, for the excellent and valuable work that they do.

    My other point is that there are some people who clearly do not understand the basic economics of how charity shops operate.

    They are effectively small businesses who have to pay their expenses, such as rental costs, electricity, rates and insurance, before any cash surplus is spent for charitable purposes. Naturally, that puts pressure on them to satisfy their customer demands and to maximise the revenue they obtain from sales. Otherwise they do not survive and the charity loses the financial benefit.

    Experience shows that customers want good quality clean and safe merchandise and are willing to pay for it. Quite simply, if the charity shop puts anything else on its shelves or in its window it does not find a buyer and, because it takes up space and has to be disposed of, it costs money.

    The pressure is therefore on staff to take in only items that are saleable and meet quality requirements. Sometimes that can hurt the feelings of genuine donors which is understandable.

    Finally, in my humble opinion, St Luke's Hospice is a much valued local institution in which we all can take a lot of pride. The income it derives from its shops is extremely important and I hope that the shop in Northwich will continue to provide good quality bargains to local people. I will certainly be popping in next week to see what they have got!"
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Donated toys found in skip

Northwich Guardian: Ryan with toys recovered from skip Ryan with toys recovered from skip

A GRANDMOTHER was upset after children’s toys she donated to a Northwich charity shop were found in a skip.

After accidentally leaving a bag of Christmas decorations along with the toys, Beverley Stubbs’ daughter Adele Smallwood, 28, returned to find a number of the donations in a skip behind St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice shop in Witton Street.

Mrs Stubbs, from Winnington, was disappointed three-year-old grandson Ryan’s toys, including a Noah’s Ark, a drum and a Christmas teddy, were not put to good use.

“The Christmas decorations were upstairs in the staff room but all of the toys had been scrapped,” she explained.

“We could have given them to other people, but gave them to charity to try and help them raise a bit of money.

“Adele got most of them back but a few were missing. We were very angry, especially as they should be going to children.”

However, St Luke’s confirmed they have a strict policy on which toys cannot be resold, including toys without a CE Mark, with pieces missing, that are non-flame retardant or that have safety labels removed.

“We were sorry to hear that Mrs Stubbs was unhappy following her kind donation of goods to our shop in Northwich,” said Andrea Fragata Ladeira from St Luke’s.

“We have extended an invitation to her to meet with a relevant person here at St Luke's so we can fully explain our processes on receiving items.

“As a charity we are very grateful for all items donated, however there are some goods which for a number of reasons we cannot put on sale.

“Where possible, items are generally recycled or sold to a rag merchant with the proceeds then being fed back into the charity funding stream – this is not always possible and some need to be disposed of.

“We are extremely grateful for all donations received and would never knowingly dispose of anything which could be sold to support patient care at St Luke’s.”

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