There are about 163,000 charities in the UK that exist to support good causes, spending around £41.7bn a year helping millions of people in the UK and globally. The Charity Retail Association estimates that there are around 11,200 charity shops in the UK and Northern Ireland, which are now all shut due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This will mean that many charities will miss out on important funding that will help them to continue to support those who need them.

We have created 4 actions that you can do that will support charities during these unprecedented times, so that charities can be there for those who need them when now, and when normality resumes.

1. Spring clear-out

With so many of us now locked in the confines of our own home it’s time to stop putting-off those house jobs that always seem to fall to the bottom of the priority list. And what better place to start than with a spring clean of your wardrobe and give any unwanted items to charity shops. It is important to note that charities do not want you to leave bags outside the shops right now, so just bag up your items and keep them in your car for the time being, ready for drop-off once they reopen.

2. Fundraise

There have been a lot of internet and social media challenges being shared, like the toilet paper keepy-ups and the babyface challenge, why not challenge yourself and ask your followers and friends to sponsor you? Set-up a GoFundMe page, post your story and choose the charity you want to support. If you have a treadmill or indoor bike maybe set yourself a target distance and livestream you doing the challenge so your sponsors can watch you complete your challenge.

3. Donate

Hospices help more than 225,000 people get the care they need every year. Yet one in four still cannot access the end of life care they need and deserve. With the COVID-19 outbreak this number is set to rise over the coming weeks. UK hospices need your support, and so Hospice UK have set-up a donate page on their website for you to donate to help keep supporting hospices, their patients and the NHS during this crisis and beyond

4. Volunteer

When charity shops reopen, they are going to need a lot of help to get things back up and running again. Volunteering your free time to work in a charity shop is a great way to meet new friends, gain retail experience, develop your interpersonal skills and gain valuable skills that will enhance your CV. With so many charity shops up and down the country there are plenty of options no matter where you live! You can find the latest charity shop volunteering opportunities on the Charity Retail Association website, or pop into your local shop and ask about the application process. The NHS could really do with some volunteers right now check out the latest opportunities to volunteer. If you need more reasons as to why you should volunteer check out this article Why Volunteer which is a compilation of stories from 13 people who benefitted from volunteering.

It is now, more than ever, that we come together to support the most vulnerable in our society, if you can do just one of these actions then you will be doing your bit in supporting important and vital causes.

While you’re here, have a little read of our other charity and sustainability blogs Top 5 marketplaces that make a difference and Thrift gift guide

Cybertill is the UK’s leading charity retail software system, used in over a third of charity shops across the UK and Ireland from independents, hospices and national charities. Learn more and schedule a demo.

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