Charity shops “more important than ever”


British Heart Foundation survey highlights their positive impact on society

6th August 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Charity shops could be vital to the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by helping people save money, shop sustainably and fund charitable services, according to a new survey.  

The survey, commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) found almost one in three UK adults (29%) feel that charity shops are more important to society following Covid-19, while 40% agreed that being sustainable and thinking about the environment when they shop is more important than before. 

More than seven in 10 (71%) thought charity shops were an important source of affordable items for those on low incomes, and 68% said they were an important source of incomes for charities during a time of high demand.

Four in ten respondents also noted that charity shops provided jobs and volunteering opportunities at a time when the UK is facing recession.

 The figures also suggested that charity shops could be particularly beneficial for younger people conscious of costs and the environment. Among respondents aged 25-34, 19% said they were more likely to use charity shops after the pandemic than before, with the same number citing environmental concerns as a reason to use them.

The BHF, which last year saw 71,000 tonnes of items pass through its stores, said the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the benefits charity shops bring to the economy and consumers, from saving people money, to preventing items going to waste and funding causes that have given vital support to people during this time.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, the charity’s retail director, said: “This pandemic has been devastating for so many of us and the reopening of charity shops is going to be vital for millions as we look to recover. Charity shops provide high quality items at affordable prices, power charitable services that have never been more in demand, re-use thousands of tonnes of items and provide a community space for so many volunteers and customers.

“Every pound raised in our shops helps us to support the 7.4 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases, many of whom are at increased risk from Covid-19. Shopping at the BHF will help us, help them.”