Charity shop throws away donated items before it re-opens

A CHARITY shop is set to re-open almost 12-months after it was closed following an alleged racial incident – but first they are throwing away most of their stock. People living and working in Hay-on-Wye have seen items donated to the town’s Oxfam charity shop being thrown onto the back of a lorry to be disposed of on three days this week. Karen Davies, who has lived in the town all of her life, said she was shocked as workers broke donated items, despite them appearing to be in good condition.

“I saw them carry a table out and they smashed it to bits and put in on the truck, there was nothing wrong with it,” she said. “The ladies in the shop next door said they’d been taking everything out. I’m absolutely gobsmacked.”

The store been closed the majority of the time since one worker was accused of making a racist comment towards someone speaking Welsh in March 2019. Alison Greenow, who works near the Oxfam store, added she was heartbroken as she watched the items being thrown out. “On Wednesday I saw a lorry pull up and I thought they were taking the items to a different shop,” she said.

“But then I didn’t think they were as when they were carrying the bags you could hear things breaking. There’s been at least three lorries of stuff go from there, it really hurts to see.” Mrs Greenow asked workers why the items were being thrown out, and she was told they were broken or damaged by moths – something which she disputes.

In response to concerns raised, Oxfam said it hopes the shop in High Town will re-open “in a couple of weeks”. Lawrence Lomas, area manager for South Wales, added: “In the process of getting the shop ready to be open we had to dispose of damaged and unsellable items, which were taken to a sorting centre for recycling.” “Throughout the sorting process we also discovered some brilliant gems.

“Our shop will be full of fantastic stock and we look forward to seeing our loyal customers and generous donors again very soon.”

A spokesperson for the charity said they make the most of the items donated, and would never throw anything away in a saleable condition.

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