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Charity Shops

Charity shops are great. Every Christmas it is tradition that my friend and I go to our local charity shops to buy quirky gifts for our other friends to wear on Christmas Eve. We've being doing that for years and come out with bags of stuff for just a few pounds. Charity shops aren't full of rubbish, as some people may believe. Spend enough time rooting around in them, and you can find some real treasures. Not only is a great way to spot a bargain, it is also preventing items from going to landfill, thus helping the environment. Over 90% of donations are unwanted items that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

So what are charity shops then?

Charity shops are places where people can go to buy second hand goods. People can also donate their unwanted items to charity shops. The shops are supported by their parent charity, such as Help the Aged, The Red Cross etc.

How many charity shops are there in the UK?

There are approximately 6,500 charity shops currently in the UK. Volunteers run many, but the number of paid staff is increasing. Many young people do work experience in a charity shop, as it is a good experience to get.

What can I buy in a charity shop?

Lots of things. Many people look for ornaments, retro clothing, designer clothing, jewellery, kitchenware which all pop up in charity shops. Some people have even found rare antiques!

What about these bogus collection scams?

Unfortunately, these do exist. Many people have received leaflets about donating unwanted items, and leaving them in a plastic bag outside your home. These are usually from companies that want to profit on your unwanted items, rather than a charity. If you receive a leaflet and you are unsure if it is genuine or not, ring the Charity Commission who will be able to help you on 0870 333 0123. Genuine leaflets/bags will have information such a charity registration number and logo on them.

Where can I find my nearest charity shop?

Check out www.charityshops.org.uk for further information about charity shops, and where to find your nearest ones.


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