Charity launches Christmas challenge

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Brechin’s Salvation Army charity shop is urging to locals to budget a little for good causes and uncover ‘treasure trove of gift potential’ in its Christmas Charity Shop Challenge.

A recent poll by the Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd has revealed that giving presents ranks as one of the highest reasons we get into the festive spirit.

On average, we each receive three presents we don’t actually want. Worse still, almost half of us leave these unwanted gifts to gather dust in the back of a cupboard.

The survey of 2000 consumers from across the UK also revealed that in Scotland we each expect to spend over £255 on gifts and Christmas outfits this year.

Area manager for Salvation Army Trading Company, Arlene McKenna, commented: “It’s astonishing to find out that we spend so much at Christmas when so many people receive gifts they don’t actually want.

“For a population of over 60 million in the UK, that’s potentially millions of wasted presents as well as millions of wasted pounds!”

She added: “This is why we’re launching our Christmas Charity Shop Challenge in Brechin. Our charity shops are treasure troves for gift potential – Christmas jumpers or once-worn dresses, books and DVD box sets, vintage jewellery.

“The beauty is uncovering a real gem or a bargain and knowing your money is going towards a good cause that’s desperately in need of your support.”

The charity, which runs 200 shops across the UK, is challenging people to spend just a little of their Christmas budget in charity shops to help make a big difference to those in need.

Shoppers are encouraged to ditch their habits and venture into their nearest charity shops, find or donate some treasures and upload photos online at www.salvationarmytrading.org/charitychallenge or by using #MyCharityChallenge.

In Scotland, while 17 per cent of people said they regularly shop in charity shops at other times of the year, over 60 per cent said they don’t ever buy Christmas gifts or clothes from charity shops at Christmas time.

Arlene continued: “Instead of wasting cash on novelty gifts that will gather dust, you could find unique stocking fillers from charity shops while helping us raise vital funds.

“We want people to take on the Christmas Charity Shop Challenge and help us spread the word by sharing their photos of all the wonderful items out there.”

Profit that the Salvation Army Trading Company receives through the sale of generous donations from the British public is given to the charity to help people who are vulnerable and in need across the UK. This includes homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales and a Family Tracing Service.

To take part in the Christmas Charity Shop Challenge, visit www.salvationarmytrading.org/charitychallenge for details.