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Norfolk charity hit by recession

PUBLISHED: 11:19 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:02 03 July 2010

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.

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.

Liz Richards, communications manager, 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 - meaning they could often not be sold on.

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

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

In Stalham, manager Iris Clark has started selling second-hand furniture, which is new for her shop, and is keen for more people to

bring in their old sofas and kitchen tables.

Break has also introduced its “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, who also have shops across the county, said they 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 their old DVDs, books and clothes - even if they are poor quality.

Mrs Richards said: “All clothing can be ragged if not good enough to sell - we get between £4.30 and £4.50 a bag.”

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