Charity shops struggle to cope with too much stock as lockdown eases

  • Watch a report by ITV Meridian's Richard Slee

Charity shops across the South are struggling to cope with too much stock.

In some cases, charities are reporting ten times the normal rate of donations, as a result of the end of lockdown.

Volunteers say the volume and quality is a problem when much of it is unusable.

Charity shops are struggling with an increase in stock as lockdown eases Credit: ITV News

The Dorset Children's Foundation had to stop taking donations last week and has seen a ten fold increase in stock.

Donations are stored at a warehouse in Bournemouth for 72 hours before being sorted by volunteers.

Clothes that are not of a suitable quality are sent off for recycling.

While the charity does make some money from this process, volunteers say they're annoyed by the amount of rubbish that gets dumped on the doorsteps of their shop.

We're so grateful for the good donations. It's lovely but please, if you're going to give to a charity shop, just think, would you buy it yourself? Is it nice and clean? You know we've no aversion to getting our hands dirty, don't get me wrong, but can we sell it? Or would we have to take our time, stop what we're doing and drive to take your rubbish to the tip?

Patsy Hallmey, Dorset Children's Foundation

In Oxford, a huge increase in donations is even a challenge for the Oxfam superstore.

Staff are limiting what they're accepting and when the stock can be dropped off.

Donations are then stored and cleaned, before being put on the racks and on the shelves.

Staff at Oxfam superstore are limiting when donations can be dropped off Credit: ITV Meridian

At the Martlets Hospice Charity in Hove, people have been queuing in their cars to drop off donations at the warehouse.

Staff are calling for more volunteers to come forward to help them cope with the increase in stock.

We're processing as much as we can so if anyone wants to volunteer and give some time, because it's all about getting our volunteers back on board and we are making them feel safe to help us out again and that is a slow process.

Karen Bentley, Martlets Hospice Charity

As charity shops reopen, staff are urging members of the public to visit, in order to clear the space for all of the new stock.