Anne Wilson from Trinity regularly gives to the charity shop in the Newkirkgate shopping centre in Edinburgh’s Leith area and had filled her car with a mixture of items hoping to help raise money for the charity.
But after unloading her latest haul of donations, she returned to the store to find bags of goods, including books, clothes, curtains and games had been dumped straight into a nearby bin, without seemingly being checked first.
“I have donated hundreds of items there and I now want people to be aware of what could be happening to their donations,” Anne said.
“Can you imagine a situation where you’ve handed all this stuff in and it’s thrown out straightaway?
“It’s not rubbish – it was clothes, books, and other things such as a laundry basket. Cancer affects one in three people – we’ve all lost family members to cancer – and I like to do my bit to help and I hate to put stuff in the bin, but to go back round and see some of the bags in the bin, I was speechless.”
“I just can’t understand why.”
Anne explained that while she was unloading bags at the back door of the shop she noticed one of the volunteers putting an item into the bin.
“I carried on unpacking and moved my car before nipping to Lidl for ten minutes. Curiosity got the better of me and I went back.
“I was horrified to see that a whole bag had been put in the bin.
“It was an immaculate canvas bag, there was also a pair of curtains, a gold lidded tin, books and various other items.
“I understand shops can’t use everything but I just couldn’t believe that the stuff hadn’t even been checked before being thrown away.”
Anne said she was so angry she asked for the rest of her donation back and took the retrieved items to another nearby charity shop.
“I gave it all to a wee charity shop on Leith Walk. There was a load of perfectly good stuff there.
“I left the shop fuming after and still don’t understand why, despite asking the volunteer for an explanation.”
Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland Lisa Adams, said: “Cancer Research UK shops rely on donations of good quality items including clothes and books to stock our shops and help support our work to beat cancer. The charity would not be able to carry out any of its lifesaving work without the support of the community who both shop and volunteer in our stores and make donations to them.
“We endeavour to sell all items donated to our shops but in the event that we are unable to sell an item for health and safety reasons or due to condition we will recycle those donations to avoid items going to landfill wherever possible.
“Cancer Research UK receives no government funding so it is thanks to public support that our pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.”