Tracy Whitaker, assistant manager of the British Heart Foundation shop in Queen Street said: “We’ve definitely seen a drop in donations in the past 12 to 18 months. With everyone’s money the way it is, people are getting more wear out of their stuff.”
Jeanie Stewart, deputy manager of St Gemma’s Hospice shop, said: “We’re constantly trying to get donations. More people are keeping hold of clothes, or selling them instead of donating them to charity – it’s a sign of the times.”
Charity shops also have to contend with organised gangs of thieves stealing donations.
Tina Lawrence, manager of Arthritis Research UK, said: “People who do car boot sales often donate the things they don’t sell and leave them outside on a Sunday. If no one’s here to take them, you come in on a Monday morning and thieves have already rifled through the donations and taken most of what’s there – they leave a right mess.”