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Charity shops speak out over dumped donations in Diss

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East Anglian Children's Hospice has had donations dumped and ruined by weather outside Pictured: Helen Weber (Deputy Manager) PICTURE: Mecha Morton (1977058)
East Anglian Children's Hospice has had donations dumped and ruined by weather outside Pictured: Helen Weber (Deputy Manager) PICTURE: Mecha Morton (1977058)

Charity shops in Diss have spoken out against dumped donations left on their doorsteps.

Staff at Each have lead the call for people to drop off their donations during opening times.

The shop has seen everything from a double bed to a fridge-freezer left outside its doors, which then costs money to remove.

Manager Davina Scales, 60, said: “We really do appreciate every donation we receive – we couldn’t continue supporting the vital work of our care teams without the generosity of the people of Diss, but please drop in your donations while we’re open.

“Not only does it take us time to clear the items, especially when bags are split from people having rummaged through them, but they’re often ruined or unsellable and it costs us precious money to discard them.”

Mrs Scales said they were in the process of producing a banner to put outside the shop, encouraging people to drop off donations only when the shop is open.

“It’s heart-breaking to come to work every Monday morning to find a mountain of bags and other items that we most often have to throw away,” she said.

Christopher Brightwell, 24, assistant manager at the British Red Cross shop in Mere Street, said: “I’ve been here since this shop opened and it’s been the same thing year after year.

“We’ve had people dump things on the shutters, damaging them. Other items are left by the back door, which causes a fire risk.

“We’ve put signs on the doors to warn people, but they don’t seem to pay any attention.

“They just think that, because we are a charity, they can just dump it here, but we get charged at a commercial rate to get rid of it.

“It’s more of a hindrance than a help. If they came in when the shop is open, that’s fine, but dumping costs us money and takes time out of our day.”

Karen Sinclair, 52, manager of the PDSA charity shop in Mere Street, said the issue had become worse.

“We’ve had a real problem with dumped donations in the past,” she said.

“We’ve had big TV sets, bed frames and old stained mattresses – and we’re only a small shop.

“It’s ridiculous, I consider it fly-tipping.

“Some people leave bags full of genuinely good stuff, but, by the time we get to it the next day, it is soaking wet.

“Some things I have taken home to put in the washing machine and dryer, but you can’t do that with everything.”

Amie Cockett, 32, manager of the Oxfam charity shop in Market Hill, said: “Historically, we’ve not had a lot of dumping at the shop.

“Donations are great, but leaving them outside can ruin them, leave them at risk of being stolen or create a hazard.

“We have donation banks for books and music at Tesco and Morrisons. Other charities have banks for many other items. There is really no excuse for dumping.”

Stephanie Wythe, 58, volunteer at Mind in Mere Street, was full time manager at Each: “I’ve noticed when there is a car boot on the Mere it’s always worse for the charity shops, as people don’t want to take it home.”

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