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Local Politicians Launch Donations Drive

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Head of Oxfam Scotland

17th May 2012

An Oxfam shop will receive a special delivery of stock this week when two local politicians launch a national donations drive.  

An Oxfam shop in East Lothian will receive a special delivery of stock this week when two local politicians launch a national donations drive.  

Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, and Fiona O'Donnell, MP for East Lothian, will drop off clothing, books and music at the North Berwick Oxfam Shop on Friday, May 18 at 3pm.

They are supporting the Choose Charity Shops campaign during its launch week (May 14-19). The campaign aims to increase donations of unwanted items.

Iain Gray said: "I've been collecting for a while and will be donating clothes, books and CDs. Having spent 12 years working for Oxfam, I know how vital the support charities get from their shops is. It is amazing what charities can do with the money raised from donations and sales from their shops.

"They provide support for important projects both here and abroad, so I am delighted to support Choose Charity Week."

Fiona O'Donnell said: "I will be donating books to Oxfam and trying to resist the urge to replace them with purchases from the North Berwick shop. It was a tough choice in East Lothian deciding which charity to support as there are so many good causes which have a presence locally. 

"I have been aware of Oxfam, and have supported their work, from an early age. Oxfam make a valuable contribution to identifying the challenges in developing countries and focus on long term solutions. I have been pleased to support their recent Grow campaign to address food security and land grab issues."

More than 5,500 shops are participating in the Choose Charity Shops campaign, run by the Charity Retail Association - whose members include Oxfam. New research by the Association found that while charity shops are in more demand than ever, they are struggling to get the amount of donated stock they need.

The Charity Retail Association also found that in Scotland: 

  • 47% of people have bought items from charity shops in the last 12 months.
  • 25% of charity shop customers say they will buy more from them in the next 12 months.
  • 21% of people are shopping in charity shops more frequently than 2 years ago.
  • 31% of people who didn't currently shop in charity shops said they would start in the next 12 months.
  • 11% of people are now selling clothes second-hand to make money instead of giving it to charity shops.
  • 76% of people say they have unwanted clothing sitting in their wardrobe that they don't need - 7% of those had more than 4 sacks.

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "This new research shows the scale of the national love affair with charity shops, but they can't survive without donations from the public.

"The unused and unwanted items in people's homes are worth millions of pounds to charities, and we hope this campaign will act as a reminder to people that making a donation of unused clothing or goods to their local charity shop is a great way to help charity when you don't have cash to give.

"We really appreciate Iain Gray and Fiona O'Donnell getting behind this campaign."

Visit the online Oxfam Shop.


Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Head of Oxfam Scotland

More by Jamie Livingstone