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Hospice Push After Bogus Rag Collectors Scam Locals

Thursday February 2 2012

Barnsley Hospice Barnsley Hospice

BARNSLEY Hospice is launching a campaign to convince locals to donate more stock after it emerged some bogus rag collectors are scamming people.

Dawn Charlesworth, the retail services manager at the Hospice, says the amount of goods being donated to the charity shops have declined by almost ten per cent - between April and December 2011 30,955 bag loads of goods were donated, compared with 34,280 over the same period in 2010.

She believes the problem is that people are tightening their belts and weighing clothes in themselves with local rag men - but says problems around charity bag collections that get put through people's door is making the situation even harder.

She said: "We know people are hard up but we just would like people to think how much money these bags of clothes could raise for the Hospice. People might weigh something in for a fiver, but we would get so much more than that if we sold it through our shops.

"We do not come out and put bags through doors because there are so many issues that we've heard of. There are bogus collectors who are ripping off charity logos and taking the money themselves. We've even heard of times when legitimate charities have left bags - but when people have put them out for collection someone has driven around and stolen them before the charity could get to it.

"We don't put bags out and we hope we don't ever have to resort to that because there are so many problems with it."

The Hospice has to raise £1.9 million every year to stay open and nearly nearly £900,000 of that is generated by its shops. Last year, it raised £90,000 in selling rags alone, as it gets a higher rate of 15-20p a kilo with it being a charity.

Dawn added: "We have had a problem over the last few years with the recession - people are hanging on to their clothes for much longer and, while they are still shopping, we noticed that we are getting more of the cheaper brands like George and Primark.

"People want to shop with us and support us but we have got to work out how to keep that supply for the demand - that's the dificulty.

“What we want to do is get the word out that we really need to replenish our stocks, especially to those people who might not have thought of donating goods to us before. All the money spent in our hospice shops stays in Barnsley and helps people in the town at a time in their lives when they need it the most.”

Barnsley Hospice, at Gawber, provides inpatient and day care for anyone in Barnsley with a life-threatening condition, not only cancer patients. It also offers care in patients’ own homes as well as a range of other services. All care is free to the patient.

Staff are now considering ways of making it more convenient to donate goods to the hospice shops. These could include extending opening times or doing more collections in communities.

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Reply Posted by Brierley Gaz on Thursday February 2 2012 at 14:06
I think collection would help if the bags were clearly stated Barnsley Hospice on them.. I know I would make a special effort and maybe other items could be collected at the same time and not just clothes.

Reply Posted by Clazbob on Friday February 10 2012 at 10:13
I shop in charity shops as there are some real gems sometimes,I give money to charity also and fetch the bags to my local shops,as often the bags are not collected and just end up ruined.we are in tough times and we are hanging on to things longer and I don't see an end anytime soon under this new government I'm afraid,take from the poor and give to the rich that's there mind set,villas in Spain ppffft camping at flamborough was my last holiday and I loved it.

Reply Posted by Guest on Friday February 10 2012 at 10:23
The New Government is better than having Labour still in power - all they did was SPEND, SPEND, SPEND money we didn't have and made us have the worst deficit in history.... So if you wish to blame anyone for how poor we are all now then look no further than all the labour voters

Reply Posted by Jess Griggs0 on Friday February 10 2012 at 10:55
Not that it's terribly relevant to the topic, but Labour didn't get us into the debt we're in now on their own. Some of the debt we have is still from WW2 and the various wars we've been involved in since then. Conservative government has far outnumbered the labour ones and they have contributed the same to our debts and these hard and fast cuts have damaged the ecconomy even more. Are we in the clear or any sight of it? No! Cuts could have been made but more gradual ones. We've had this level of debt for quite some time. The world operates on a lend and borrow system. We may owe to other countries but we are recieving money in from countries that owe to us, with interest!Anyone who believes the Tory propoganda that Labour just bathed in our cash is just deluding themselves. Of course the Tories would tell us it was Labours fault.
Anyway, back to the topic. I shall make sure I drop my clothing donations into the shop from now on.