RSPCA charity branch issues warning about donations in Leicester

By Jack Gabriel

A charity organisation has urged the public not to leave donations outside their shops after business hours following the most recent instance that saw two people help themselves to the donations.

Woodside Animal Centre, the Leicestershire branch of the RSPCA, issued the request after two women were seen taking multiple binbags full of donations from the Sibson Road shop in Birstall, and loading them into their car before driving away.

Shop worker, Richard Pyatt, posted the appeal on Facebook. He said: “We’ve told people please don’t leave donations outside of a closed charity shop, we can pretty much guarantee the charity will never benefit from the goods.”

The post was shared across Leicestershire-based social networking groups, being seen by 13,500 people, prompting responses such as; “Taking hand me down clothes! Can people sink any lower?”

Another user posted: “Sick! Deprived the charity shop of raising funds for the needy, disgusting duo”, whilst another commented “Theft is theft no matter where it’s from.”


However, the charity says it is ‘powerless’ as the donations were not left in a donation-box designated for the shop, and leaving items lying on the street is a ‘grey-area’, even if there is a reasonable expectation that they are intended for the charity.

This incident is the latest in a recurring theme for the charity’s four shops across the county, who raise money to fund the Animal Centre which cares for pets and prepares them for re-homing.

Christian Clarke, a donator to the charity’s Wigston shop said: “I once left items outside the back of the shop when it was shut, and the charity later told me they hadn’t received my donations.”

He added: “It’s a sad situation that people will pounce on free items that aren’t intended for them for their own gain, a lot of charities are extremely reliant on donations to fund their good work.”

These occurrences have become regular enough for some charity shops to install large donation-box containers at the rear of the shop, yet others have no choice but to rely on the public’s morality.

People wishing to donate to any of the Woodside Animal Centres’ four shops can find a list of acceptable items on the RSPCA Leicester website,

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