Staff and volunteers are sorting through surplus coats, hats and scarves at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) Retail Distribution Centre (RDC), in Thetford.
They are items that would normally be heavily discounted and sold in the charity’s end-of-season sale.
The goods will be handed to two Norfolk haulage businesses who are offering to transport donations to the Ukrainian border.
“We’re all watching the news with a sense of horror and disbelief,” said Head of Retail Central Operations Sarah Throssell. It’s a truly awful, desperate situation and, like everyone, we want to do what we can to help. This is only a small gesture but hopefully it helps in some way.It’s come in response to numerous requests from staff and volunteers, all keen to know what they and we can do.We have two big sales every year – one at the end of the summer season and one at the end of the winter.They include large amounts of unsold stock and, at this time of year, that includes coats, scarves and hats.These are exactly the kind of thing in demand by aid agencies so it makes perfect sense to divert them to be used in Ukraine. We hope it helps.”
EACH, which supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, has a thriving Retail section with 44 shops across East Anglia.
The charity is not requesting extra donations from the public.
Instead, existing, surplus stock will be sorted and the project will be managed by staff and volunteers at RDC.
“We’re politely requesting that people don’t drop off extra items at our shops,” added Sarah.
“We’re unable to offer them up as collection points but already have more than enough suitable, surplus, end-of-season stock.
“We’ll sort, separate and bag everything here and the plan is for the first batch to be transported by the end of this week.
“More should hopefully follow, depending on demand.
“In the meantime, in addition to clothing, we’ll also be keeping an eye out for donations of sleeping bags and tents.”