STAFF at Bury Hospice are urging the public to sort their donations out before dropping them off, as they begin reopening shops.

The donation centre has said that they have had to be far stricter on what they can and can't accept, due to an influx of donations from people having lockdown clear-outs.

Countless objects have had to be discarded, as donors have given items which are unsellable, broken or damaged.

John Thirkell, centre manager, said: “We appreciate that many people have been having a major clear out of cupboards and wardrobes during lockdown and we are very grateful for donations, but are needing to be far stricter on what we can and can’t accept.

“This is because we have limited space and it’s made harder by the fact that we need to quarantine donations for 72 hours before we can sort them out for our shops and furniture store, and our warehouse overflow units are now at capacity."

The donation centre is currently open from 9am until 1pm for drop-offs.

People are being asked to check the hospice's website and social media before travelling, as the centre needs to be closed when capacity is reached.

Donations are not currently being accepted at any shops until they are able to implement the required social distancing measures, while the collection and delivery service will continue to be suspended until further notice.

John added: “We’ve had queues of cars lining up with donations and we really don’t like turning people away when they‘ve made the effort to bring them in to us, but if we reach capacity or if we spot that they are not sellable I’m afraid we can’t accept them.

“To help people work out what is donatable, we’ve got checklists on our website. Sorting through donations at home helps us save time and cut down on waste, meaning more time and money can go towards supporting patients and those close to them.”

Sam Duncan, head of trading and volunteering, added: “We are so grateful for everyone’s patience whilst our charity shops have been closed, and we now need people to continue being understanding.

“It was really exciting to start re-opening last week. At the moment our Prestwich shop, Furniture store and donation centre are open, and on Friday we are opening our boutique on Mindem Parade inside Millgate Shopping Centre. We’ll be opening the rest of our shops when we are able to.

“Bury Hospice relies on its volunteers to help us run our services, and we could really do with more help. Volunteering is a fun and invaluable way to help your hospice – if you have any time to give to support us, do please get in touch with us.”