Charities object to Second-hand Sunday

13:42, Jul 29 2014

Marlborough not-for-profit groups could miss out on $45,000 worth of funding if "second-hand Sunday" is given the go-ahead, a charity shop chairwoman says.

Blue Door chairwoman Sue Duckworth said charity shops relied on donations from households and although second-hand Sunday was a great idea, it might stop people from taking their goods to charity shops. This would then impact on funding for groups such as Marlborough Riding for the Disabled, Nativity Scouts and John's Kitchen.

Last week, Marlborough District Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil proposed holding a second-hand Sunday when people could place unwanted items on the footpath outside their house for others to pick up if they wanted.

The proposal was that one second-hand Sunday be held in Blenheim and in Picton within the areas currently served by the kerbside recycling service.

More details would be announced once the council had approved the proposal at its full meeting next Monday.

But Duckworth said Blue Door volunteers "don't support this venture at all".


"We've got no doubt it will affect business . . . I was a bit surprised to hear the council was thinking about it.

"Whilst it might work really well, I just felt that the need is already been catered for very well," she said. "When they do have the discussion, they could very well be taking hard-earned cash from the charity shops. I'm just disappointed."

She thought it was a good idea that the charity shops would have the option to go around and collect what they wanted as well, but Sunday would not work, Duckworth said.

McNeil said their target audience was people who had garages full of goods.

He did not expect second-hand Sunday to affect those who took goods to charity shops. "I don't think it will change their habits.

"[So] we will trial it and see what happens and people will be able to give us feedback."

The charity shops were free to go and take what they wanted as well, he said.

Marlborough Riding for the Disabled manager Roslein Wilkes said they would not support the second-hand Sunday if it meant they would lose access to funding.

"We have over 80 clients a week so we struggle.

"We apply for fees for children who can't afford it."

Wilkes had been with Riding for the Disabled for almost 20 years and relied heavily on funding from Blue Door.

"Each year we have applied for funding. One year it was $3000 for a horse and another time it was for children who couldn't afford fees.

"It would be a huge blow for us."

Blenheim's Salvation Army Family Store manager Tania Murphy said that if the council trialled it on a Sunday, it would be difficult to find a volunteer who would sift through the goods.

"To be fair they already give up valuable time and to ask them to give up more to work on a Sunday is a big ask.

Any profit the store made went back into the community, she said. "At the end of the day it's trial and error, and I'm hopeful it [second-hand Sunday] won't affect us adversely. Like everything, you have to give it a go."

The Marlborough Express