Recession affects Break charity shops

A Norfolk charity says the recession has created a donations slump at its shops.Break, which gives vulnerable families much needed holidays, has seen a drop in the number of good-quality items given to it.

A Norfolk charity says the recession has created a donations slump at its shops.

Break, which gives vulnerable families much needed holidays, has seen a drop in the number of good-quality items it receives

Communications manager Liz Richards said: "Over the past three months we have found that most shops in the eastern region are down on donations and this has had a direct effect on the amount of monies raised for the charity."

She said there had also been a decline in the quality of the donations - which meant they could often not be sold on.

She added: "We're are finding, particularly with winter clothes, that whereas some people would buy a new winter coat each year, they are now keeping hold of them."

As a result, some of the shops are having to diversify and find new ways to attract donations.

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In Stalham, manager Iris Clark has started selling second-hand furniture and is keen for more people to bring in their old sofas and kitchen tables.

Break has also introduced a "Break Box" scheme to encourage more people to donate.

Rather than sitting back waiting for donations to come to them, the charity is giving boxes to businesses and collecting them once they are full.

But East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) and Big C, which also has shops across the county, said it had not experienced a

slump.

Sharon Hulbert, spokesman for

Big C, said while they were always in need of donations, the shops' stock levels were good and the charity planned to open more branches.

Rachel Wright, from EACH, said

it was still receiving high

quality items, but admitted it

was "a little nervous about the future."

All three charities said the number of customers visiting their shops was still high and urged more

people to bring in old DVDs, books and clothes - even if they are poor quality.

Mrs Richards said: "Clothing can be ragged if not good enough to sell - we get between �4.30 and �4.50

a bag."

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