Bin bags with cotton buds, sofas with faeces, and boxes with mice droppings are all things that have been 'donated' to Mountbatten charity shops, leading to the charity appealing for people to be sensible when giving away their goods.
Mountbatten is urging the community not to drop off or take their generous donations to their local charity shop as they reopen across the Island.
After an overwhelming increase in the number of donations, and because of changes to the way donations can be processed, they can only be received by the team at Mountbatten’s Warehouse on Newport’s Riverway Industrial Estate.
Although the warehouse is open for donations 7 days a week, between 10am and 4pm (closed between 12 and 1pm), there have been a number of times when capacity has been reached within a couple of hours of opening.
Mountbatten Retail Area Manager, Jodie Wilmott, said:
“We've been receiving in just two hours of opening what we would normally receive in a day, with people queuing in their cars to drop off donations,”
“Sometimes, by the time we reach lunchtime, we are in the position of having to turn people away. We are so grateful for donations that we can sell to support our work, and we know it can be frustrating when people want to give us their high quality donations, but we only have a limited space in which to store them in quarantine for 72 hours.”
The charity is also asking people to ensure donations are of saleable quality.
Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, a large percentage of what is currently being donated cannot be sold on through Mountbatten’s shops.
“Unfortunately, that means we have to divert money away from supporting our wide range of end of life and bereavement services and into the cost of getting rid of what we can’t sell to raise funds.”
“Among the items we’ve received are sofas with animal faeces on them, bin bags containing cotton buds and other potentially contaminated rubbish, as well as boxes with mice droppings in them. We really need people to stop and think, 'would you buy it yourself? Is it clean and in good working order?'
‘’By asking these questions in advance, it helps our staff and volunteers, as well as our ambition to raise as much money as possible, much easier."
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Mountbatten’s charity shops raised over £100,000 each month towards end of life care and bereavement support.
Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO said:
“Every penny is vital and we continue to be so grateful for your donations. Everyone is trying their best during a very challenging time, when we are all having to learn new ways of working.
"Please do bear with us whilst we try to manage the reopening of our shops and, if you can, visit our shops to pick up a bargain, as this will also help us rotate our stock and manage the influx of very generous donations.
"It’s thanks to our Island community that we can continue to be there when Island patients and families need us most.”
Mountbatten’s shops are scheduled to open as follows:
- Warehouse, Newport - OPEN
- Mountbatten Newport, Lugley Street - OPEN
- Mountbatten Cowes, High Street - OPEN
- Mountbatten Freshwater, Avenue Road - OPEN
- Mountbatten Ryde, High Street - OPEN
- Mountbatten East Cowes, Ferry Road - 20 July 2020
- Mountbatten Shanklin, Regent Street & Mountbatten Ventnor, Pier Street - 27 July 2020
- Mountbatten Bembridge Lane End Road & Mountbatten Wootton, High Street - 3 August 2020
You can find out more information on Mountbatten's website.