GENEROUS-hearted people looking to donate items to children’s charity Barnardo’s can now drop off their old clothes at Swindon’s first donation centre.
The new centre, which also has its own 99p charity shop front, opened in Cavendish Square in Park South on Friday, with hundreds piling in to make the most of the opening-day bargains.
Visitors to the store can browse the items for sale after bringing their donations, which they can see being processed in the open plan stockroom behind the counter.
This is where volunteers sort the goods into 17 large wooden bays prior to distribution to the charity’s network of smaller shops across the region.
Barnardo’s area business manager Carol Carmichael said: “There’s already been a lot of local interest while we’ve been setting up. People have been looking through the windows and asking when they can start delivering their donations.
“It was non-stop since we opened with lots of people coming in.
“Donations will be sorted here and then distributed. They could be going anywhere in the country potentially.”
The site was chosen because it has easy access and plenty of free parking which makes it even easier for people to bring their pre-loved items for resale.
The region’s first donation centre, in Gloucester, was so successful that it received 24,000 bags in the first 12 months after opening Carol said: “We are in an ideal position here in Cavendish Square.
“People want to donate but they want to do it conveniently, and we’ve found where some stores don’t have space to park out the front they just aren’t getting the donations.”
As well as becoming an integral part of the local community, the new centre is also offering volunteering opportunities for anyone who wants to help.
Carol said: “We hope to become an important part of the local community and look forward to welcoming potential volunteers who want to get involved.
“Volunteering provides valuable experience for those seeking employment, as well as a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
“We want to create a fun team who will work together in support of our services which aim to give children the best possible start in life.”
The donation centre is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm, and there are plans to eventually open on Sundays between 10am and 4pm as well.
Barnardos accepts donations of all good quality items including clothing, books, toys, games, DVDs, CDs, homeware and accessories.