Charities embrace online shopping as lockdown continues to impact fundraising

Report by ITV News Meridian's Mike Pearse

This would usually be one the busiest weeks of the year for charity volunteers with thousands taking to the streets for the annual Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal and charity shops preparing for spring when more people are out shopping.

But the pandemic means many are stuck at home and in some cases have not been able to volunteer for a year.

It means the charity who offer end of life care will be down around £3 million on its usual appeal.

Never has the need for the charity been greater at a time donations have never been so small. 

The charity is fighting back with social media appeals and online videos appealing for help. 

One of those disappointed is Gwyneth Sully from Poole who says she has managed few collections over the year. 

Gwyneth Sully volunteers for charity Marie Curie Credit: ITV News Meridian

We may be heading towards Easter, at the start of next month, but take a walk through Newbury and the windows of the charity shops are still full of Christmas goods.

The Scope shop even has Santa costumes for sale. The problem is no one has been able to go inside the shops since before Christmas. 

Many charity shops still have Christmas decorations in their window displays Credit: ITV News Meridian

Oxfam has 550 charity shops which are closed with losses of £5 million a month.

The charities superstore in Oxford is usually one of its busiest and for now is closed. But at the back of the shop and upstairs some volunteers are working hard to keep donations rolling in. They have helped move the operation online. 

Volunteers at the Oxfam superstore in Oxford are now selling clothes online Credit: ITV News Meridian

Goods donated before the current lockdown are being photographed and put online to be sold.

The charity says they have seen brisk business and it is making a real difference. 

The volunteers say still being able to help is a major benefit to them keeping occupied, meeting colleagues and important for their mental health. 

Interviewees: Gwyneth Sully, Volunteer from Poole & Hannah Taylor, Marie Curie & Graham Diggle, Oxfam volunteer & Linda Chapman, Oxfam volunteer & Sue Williams, Oxfam volunteer & Julie Neeve, Oxfam Superstore Manager & Rita Chadha, Small Charities Coalition