CHARITY shop workers are faced with faeces and rotting food as they battle constant fly-tipping ‘donations’ outside their store.

Mary Ansell-Carter, general manager of Age Concern Christchurch, said the daily issue is “demoralising” for staff.

Each morning volunteers are faced with bags of ruined donations that have been left outside both the Bargates and Southbourne stores.

Bournemouth Echo: Donations left outside store

Mary said although they are grateful for any donations, the items can no longer be used after they have been soiled outside.

“A lot of the volunteers are also older, and they do not have the physical mobility to be carrying the donations each morning,” said Mary.

She added faeces have been left on the donations and she once found discarded fish and chips inside a bag left outside the store.

She said: “It can be pretty grim sometimes.”

Mary said the Southbourne location is the worst for fly-tipping and the shop is restricted on space to store the items.

Bournemouth Echo: Age Concern in Southbourne has limited storage for donation

Donations that cannot be sold are collected by a recycling service, however, they will not take wet items and can only be thrown in the bin.

“It is rare if there is not stuff on the steps each morning,” said Mary.

“Sometimes we’re notified of donations that have been left but then by the morning it has been taken.”

Mary said people will regularly walk past and rifle through the bags, spreading it across the street.

“It is really demoralising having to pick it all up, with people walking past, tutting and shaking their heads.”

Barbie Carter, shop leader at Age Concern in Tuckton Road, said the volunteers are “not happy” with the “waste of donations”.

“We are losing money because it is being left and soaking wet or people taking it,” said Barbie.

“It’s a shame because we get some beautiful items and then it is no good.”

People with donations are advised to ring the shop beforehand, or ask in person, if they can take donations at that time.

Little Lives UK and Dorset Reclaim also offer collection services across Dorset, if unable to take items during store opening hours.