Fundraising shop may face closure

CHARITY shop staff are worried that collection bag rules could cripple their service.

The Extra Care Charitable Trust shop in Gold Street, Kettering, raises money to support Sunley Court care home in Pipers Hill Road.

But with stock levels at an all-time low and bag collections only allowed for three weeks each year, shop manager Denise Farren fears the worst for the charity.

She said: “You have to have a licence to put out collection sacks but even if we have that we’re only allowed to put them out for three weeks of the year.

“This will affect our stock levels and we might end up being another empty shop in the town centre.

“It has a knock-on effect for the residents at Sunley Court, too. The money we raise goes towards activities for the residents and if the shop has to close there will be less money going into their pot.”

Nationally, Extra Care has 66 shops, but the one in Kettering is the biggest.

Mrs Farren said charities with 100 or more shops are exempt from the licensing rules and can collect as often as they can.

She added: “We’ve been in Kettering for nearly 14 years but it’s never been as bad as this. Stock levels have gone down a lot because people are feeling the pinch. They’re not buying so many new clothes so they’re not parting with their old ones.”

People can donate clothes, household items or small furniture by visiting the shop.

If a large number of items have been gathered, the shop may arrange a collection. For more details call 01536 517441.