Jenny Cook works as a Community Champion for Sue Ryder's charity partner, Morrisons. Jenny’s role involves co-ordinating activities and fundraising to support Sue Ryder, and she recently wrote to us about a visit to her local Sue Ryder shop in West Moors, Dorset.
Each week Jenny fills her car with up to 20 bags full of donations from Morrisons customers and colleagues, ready to take them to one of the local Sue Ryder shops in the Dorset/Hampshire area. On one visit to the West Moors store she decided to stick around to find out what happens to all of the donations, here’s what she discovered.
It's amazing what can turn up in our charity shop donations...
"Sue Ryder shops are unusual as they accept all items, be they the usual clothes and bric-a-brac, but also electrical items and the larger shops also take furniture. Books are still accepted along with childrens toys.
I got a quick lesson in what goes where. They have separate containers for handbags, shoes, books etc.
Any electrical items are put to one side. The two full timers along with two of the volunteers are qualified to check that they are safe.
The first bag I pick up has a complete (but in pieces) Tracey Island! It was dated 1998 and made in China - but was missing the all-important CE marking which meant it is unable to be sold as a toy. Charity shops have to adhere to the law!"
The next few bags contained clothes. Each item is checked for condition and cleanliness. One coat had a mark on the front. The industrial steam cleaner made short work of that. Each item has a label attached with the size, put on a suitable hanger. A coloured size is put on a hanger and it is ready for the staff to price and put out for sale. Items deemed not suitable for sale are separated and kept to get a 'rag weight', so nothing is wasted."
The items are left for sale in the shop for two weeks. Higher value bric-a-brac along with fiction book, CD's and DVD's plus a selection of clothes are bagged and boxed up and sent on to other shops. In our area we have four other shops all within an eight mile radius. So their stock is kept fresh and different."
And so what happened to Tracey Island? "It got put in the window, clearly marked 'not a toy' but a collector’s item!’’
Inspired? Get involved!
If this article has inspired you, why not get involved as a volunteer
? The Sue Ryder shop in West Moors is currently looking for volunteers and even a few hours every week, could make a great difference.
To find out more please contact Store Manager - Liz, on 01202 890293 or apply online