‘Leaving bags outside Shefford charity shop is selfish and thoughtless’

Well-meaning members of the public are being asked to hold fire after bags of unwanted items were dumped outside a closed Shefford charity shop.

Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 6:29 pm

On Thursday, March 26, the issue was reported to the Chronicle by a concerned village resident, who spotted the heap outside Age UK, High Street.

While the shop is closed due to the coronavirus crisis, members of the public had left bags outside, perhaps because they missed the closed signs on the window, or - as some people claimed on social media - because they were selfish and wanted the mess out of their homes.

Speaking on the Thursday, resident Lesley Whiteman said: “This has built up over the last few days - heaven knows how big the pile will get before people stop. This is our local charity shop, and the pile is blocking the front door.

The bags left outside the Age UK shop. Photo: Lesley Whiteman.

“Most weekends we see bags being left outside our local charity shop, and sometimes it can really pile up, so heaven knows how much will build up if this shop is closed for a few weeks.

“It’s only been a few days, and already it’s blocking the door. There are signs on the window specifically telling people not to leave any donations outside, but I guess people want it out of their houses.”

Nick Smith, head of retail at Age UK, said: “We always ask that bags of donations aren’t left outside our shops as this leaves them vulnerable to thefts and damage.

“This is especially important now as all Age UK shops are currently closed, as most shops on the high street are following the government guidance, and we aren’t able to process any items.

“Many people may be using their extra time at home to sort out cupboards and we are extremely grateful to anyone considering donating to Age UK, as older people need our help now more than ever, but please wait until we’re able to reopen before bringing your items. There are also other ways people can help right now, for example supporting Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal.

“Whether it’s making a donation to help fund our vital services or by lending a hand and helping to pick up shopping, together we can make a huge difference.”