Charity donations targeted

Age UK manager Yvonne Walker and Julie Heward are appealing after people keep leaving bags of donations outside the shop which are getting stolen. (d16091147)
Age UK manager Yvonne Walker and Julie Heward are appealing after people keep leaving bags of donations outside the shop which are getting stolen. (d16091147)

CHARITY shop donations left out for collectors are being stolen from people’s doorsteps.

Thieves are taking bags of clothes and other unwanted items left out for Age UK’s Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike shops, leaving the charity thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Cleckheaton manager Yvonne Walker said: “We are losing thousands. We are supposed to get £10 out of a bag and some of these pick ups are 60 to 70 bags. We are losing lots of money. The theives take the bags to the rag man and weigh them in. But we get paid for rags and shoes.”

Mrs Walker said some cunning thieves had also printed up fake bags with the Age UK logo and were leaving them on doorsteps for people to fill.

And she said she had been told the bogus collectors were even knocking on doors to ask for bags. One woman had said a man had knocked on her door to take a bag – but she was expecting the real collector so knew he was fake.

Mrs Walker said: “This has been going on for months but it’s got to the point that the charity is losing so much money. It’s awful – disgusting.

“We are trying to help our old people and all these people are doing is weighing these donations in for the money. We get some lovely stuff and people are donating it thinking they are giving nice clothes to the shop but it’s just going to the rag man.

“Our collectors start at 7.30am but by the time they get there the bags have been picked up. One of our volunteers saw the bogus collectors in her street at 5am.”

Mrs Walker said she wanted to make donators aware their bags were not always reaching the charity – and collectors were happy to go out and pick them up.

Contact the Cleckheaton shop on 01274 861314 or the Heckmondwike shop on 01924 412271.