Charity shop stock taken before it can be put on sale

CHARITY shops in Saffron Walden are being deprived of valuable donations by rag dealers who are taking bags of clothes left out for genuine charities by local people.

“Our collectors are having major problems with bags of clothes going missing,” said Wendy Cresswell, manager of the Saffron Walden shop of Hft, a national learning disability charity one of many that have been affected.

“We lost in excess of 40 per cent of our donation sacks on one round last week in the surrounding areas.

“Not only are these people taking our donations but they’re also distributing sacks under the pretext of collecting for charitable causes because they can make money out of used clothing. Please help us to stop this.”

Wendy and the team of volunteers who work at Hft’s charity shop at 6, Market Walk in Saffron Walden, are warning people to be aware of bogus collectors and asking locals to contact the various shops if they see any unmarked vans taking charity bags.

“Our collection vans are clearly marked with the charity’s logo,” explains Wendy. “We’re asking people to give us a call if they see any unmarked vans collecting our donations and it would help if they could make a note of the vehicle’s registration.

“Alternatively, if anyone is concerned then please give us a call on 01799 526 768 and we’ll organise our van to come and collect from your home address at a convenient time.

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“We rely on donations from local people to keep our charity shop stocked and all of the money we make is used by Hft to support people with learning disabilities.”

Hft provides a diverse range of services for adults throughout the country and local services.

The Hft shop, which is open six days a week from 9am until 5pm, also sells general bric-a-brac and a wide range of books, offering plenty of bargains.

People can safely leave donations at the shop at 6, Market Walk or call the collection service on 01799 526 768 to arrange a convenient pick up time.