CHARITY shops on Wearside are losing £50,000 a year, according to new figures.
Barnardo’s North East, which recorded the staggering losses, said city stores are losing out on tens of thousands of pounds because customers don’t understand Gift Aid.
The scheme allows those making a donation to pay a tax back sum directly to the charity by signing up free of charge.
This year, Barnardo’s in the North East has an estimated income of £417,187 from the Retail Gift Aid scheme.
However, if every person who donated clothes, accessories or goods to their local store signed up for Gift Aid, the charity could make £684,389.
This has been calculated as a possible extra £50,000 in the charity’s five shops in Sunderland city centre, Pennywell, Pallion and Seaham, to spend on services for vulnerable children and young people.
Pennywell shop manager Tracie Mitchison said the extra money could make a huge difference to Barnardos’ work. “We would love more customers to sign up for Gift Aid,” she said.
“It takes no time at all, is no cost to them, but makes their money go further for Barnardo’s.
“Fifty thousand pounds in tax-back is a huge sum of money which we could do so much with in Barnardo’s, so we would really encourage people to sign up.
“We know people are busy, but a minute is all it takes to make a real difference to the children and families we work with.”
Barnardo’s is launching a campaign called Missing Millions, in a bid to claim the pounds lost each year through the poor take-up of Gift Aid.
A calculated £267,000 a year is lost to the Barnardo’s North East stores. Nationally, the charity is losing out on £6.5million.
To help Barnardo’s claim the Missing Millions, people will need to be a tax payer, and fill out a gift aid declaration form, giving their full name, address and signature.