Recession-ravaged charity shop’s donations SOS plea

Volunteers at The Children's Society in Houghton, Pauline Harland, Maureen Leslie and Lauren Hogg are in desperate need of donations.
Volunteers at The Children's Society in Houghton, Pauline Harland, Maureen Leslie and Lauren Hogg are in desperate need of donations.
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A WEARSIDE charity shop manager has launched a desperate appeal for donations after being hit by the recession.

Pauline Harland runs the Children’s Society shop in Newbottle Street, Houghton, and says donations have slowed to a trickle over the last 12 months.

“We are desperate for donations. We are just not getting enough through the door,” she said.

“When I first started a year ago, it was constant, all day, every day – but I don’t think we’ve had one donation all morning and it’s like that most days.

“It is really hurting us badly.”

Pauline put the problem down to the state of the economy.

She added: “People are holding on to their things much longer than previously or looking to sell them rather than give them away because they need the money.

“They are going to the shops that will give them cash, whereas previously they would have donated them here, or selling them online. If you look at the things that people are selling on e-Bay, a lot of it is the sort of stuff they would normally donate to us.”

The charity has already taken steps to improve the situation but Pauline is looking at new ways of raising funds.

“I have taken an electrical testing qualification so we can sell electrical goods, and we are looking at starting to sell furniture,” she said. “We have even resorted to rotating stock between shops.

“We have nine or 10 shops in the area and we are all struggling for donations.

“It is not just us that is suffering, I think it’s everybody.”

“If you can spare us a donation, please do so - if we can’t sell it we will recycle it. Nothing ever gets wasted.

“We just want to raise as much money as we can for the charity and we are desperate.”

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