A PIONEERING multi-retailer gift card exclusively for charity shops has been launched in Warrington in partnership with St Rocco’s Hospice and Warrington Borough Council.
The first of its kind, the Charity Shop Gift Card has been developed in partnership with the Charity Retail Association (CRA) and is now being sold and accepted in St Rocco’s Hospice’s 10 shops which provide vital funding to support the care it provides, free of charge to people with life-limiting and terminal illness.
Warrington Borough Council is the first local authority in the UK to use the charity gift cards to distribute funds from its local support scheme which helps individuals and families who do not have alternative means of paying for what they need in a disaster or emergency, or to enable independent living in the community.
By partnering with the charity gift card scheme, the council will distribute financial support in a sustainable way while at the same time empowering them with dignity and choice over their purchases.
The Charity Shop Gift Card is helping to drive the growing second-hand revolution which is helping to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Recent figures show that charity shops divert 339,000 tonnes of textiles away from landfill or incineration every year.
It is currently being rolled out among members of the CRA who, collectively, have over 9,000 stores across the UK, offering them their first opportunity to tap into the growing £7billion gift card market.
Eric Russell, Head of Income Generation at St Rocco’s Hospice, said: “We’re really excited to be involved in the charity gift card and the prospect of working with our local council to offer the gift card as a way of providing essential items to the residents of Warrington. We can only see the scheme growing as people realise the benefits of buying secondhand.”
Cllr Tony Higgins, Warrington Borough Council cabinet member for leisure and community, said: “This charity gift card is another excellent way to support a local charity that gives so much to the community, as well as providing a more sustainable choice of gift card. We’ve very excited about the partnership with St Rocco’s and the Charity Retail Association and, depending on the success of the scheme, we hope we can expand the offer in future to include more local charitable organisations.”
Lee Fellows, Co-founder of The Charity Shop Gift Card, said: “Sustainability is a major driver of our scheme with the need for urgent action to control climate change at the top of the global agenda. The gift card market is huge and growing, and central to our aim is to help charities like St Rocco’s to tap into that so they can continue the contribution that they are already making to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. In Warrington, we’re taking it a step further by partnering with Warrington Borough Council with the aim of widening the impact of our gift card for good.”
The single-load gift cards themselves will be recyclable and compostable and will be on sale at all St Rocco’s Hospice shops, at supermarkets and other major retailers from this month, and as e-vouchers from www.thecharityshopgiftcard.co.uk.
The Charity Shop Gift Card is a member of Social Enterprise UK and the Gift Card and Voucher Association.
Top photo shows St Rocco’s shop manager Kate Bell (centre) with volunteers Christine Dooley and Beth Purnell.