HRCC faces bill of £2,500 for ruined donations dumped outside charity shops

Bags, boxes and broken furniture are being piled up outside our charity shops in Essex and Herts on a regular basis which is currently costing the charity in excess of £2,500 in the last six months alone to dispose of using industrial skips. Money that should be spent on supporting men and women living with cancer, across the region.

Retail Volunteer Simon Gibbs arriving at the Witham Charity Shop

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Head of Retail Alison Matthews explains; “Our charity shops are run predominantly by our fantastic Volunteers who give up their precious time to help support the charity.

We are always grateful to our loyal, local residents for donating their items to us, however I have been dismayed that a small minority are leaving bags and boxes of donations outside our shops when they have been closed and subsequently ruined by the weather and in extreme cases, attracting vermin. Some donations have even turned out to be household rubbish! This is not only a health and safety risk but also costing the charity vital money.

I urge the general public to please refrain from leaving donations outside our shops at any time as they may be stolen or damaged by the weather, making them worthless. And please make sure all donated items are sellable: that toys are in full working order, games contain all the pieces and that all clothes are clean and stain-free.”

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity CEO Kate Alden added; “We are so thankful to all of our Retail Volunteers who help keep our charity shops operational raising money for those living with cancer. And to the general public who donate their items, but they must be donated during our shops opening hours which are published on our website here.

Alternatively we host our Donations Days in Hatfield Peverel near Chelmsford once a month; our next event is on Saturday 8th January 2022 between 9am and 12pm. Keep an eye on our website for future dates where we will be pleased to accept clothing and accessories, DVDs and books, quality kitchen and homeware, ornaments, collectables or any other valuable items in new or good condition.

We are always on the lookout for new Retail Volunteers to help in our charity shops; from customer service, filing up shelves with new items and donation sorting – there is a role for everybody! For an informal chat please get in contact with our Head of Retail Alison Matthews on 07984 049 973 or email

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We are calling on everyone in our community to play a vital role in helping us to fundraise which will allow us to continue enabling quality of life while living with cancer.