CHARITY shops across the Chard, Ilminster and Crew-kerne area are hoping for a surge in donations of items to sell now the festive season is over and people are left with unwanted Christmas gifts.

The economic downturn and a rise in various organisations offering ‘cash-for-goods’ schemes has led to charities suffering a drop in donors, resulting in a lack of money being raised for good causes.

Staff at the Sue Ryder shop in Holyrood Street, Chard, contacted the News the week before Christmas about a severe reduction in the number of clothing items it was receiving.

A large bin for clothing donations which normally flows over with bags of items has been left virtually empty.

Assistant manager Carol Gallo-way said: “It’s very unusual to have stocks so low, but it’s the same with our shops across the region.”

The shop sells people’s unwanted items to raise money for the Sue Ryder charity, which has been running for over 50 years.

As well as much needed clothes it also takes good quality bric-a-brac, accessories and unwanted gifts, but cannot accept electrical goods.

Manager Sarah Haskins said while they were in urgent need of more donations to help fill the shop shelves she wanted to thank their loyal band of donors and volunteers for their continued support.

“We really do appreciate everyone for their support, but are desperate for donations,” she said.

Charities across the UK, such as Sue Ryder, are urging people to don-ate unwanted Christmas presents to their shops.

If you would like to help the Sue Ryder team in Chard with donations or as a volunteer, call 01460-66499 or drop into the shop.