Customers at Central England Co-operative raised more than £200,000 for two charities by donating unwanted clothing.
The society says 1,413 tonnes of clothing were left at collection points at over 100 of its stores across 16 counties before being sold on. The proceeds will be shared between the Salvation Army and the Society’s corporate charity Newlife, which works for disabled children.
The scheme has been running since 2012 under a link-up between Central England Co-op and the Salvation Army.
Hannah Gallimore, corporate responsibility manager at Central England said: “Everyone involved with the society is proud of its work in the community and the work undertaken with charities to improve the lives of others.
“This partnership has grown and grown since it began in 2012 and the Salvation Army and Newlife are reaping the benefits.
“Everyone at Central England Co-operative would like to say a big thank you to members and customers who have donated clothing already, and we would urge anyone who has any unwanted clothes to bring them to one of our clothing banks and make a real difference.”
Newlife, which offers guidance and practical support for children with disabilities and their families, is a national charity but every penny raised by Central England goes to children in its trading area.
So far, the partnership has raised £1.2million and helped fund specialist disability equipment for more than 530 children.
Newlife’s head of community fundraising and appeals, Nora Smith, said: “Funding from this recycling initiative has enabled Newlife to provide vital equipment for disabled and terminally ill children.
“On behalf of those families whose everyday lives have been improved, Newlife would like to say a huge ‘thank you’.”
The Salvation Army works throughout the year to provide compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help to people who are vulnerable or in need.
A spokesman for the Salvation Army said: “The money will go towards supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the UK. It just shows how such a simple action – recycling clothes – can have such a significant impact on people’s lives.
“We’re very grateful to the Central England Co-operative and its customers for the compassion they’ve shown through donating and raising money.”
Central England Co-operative also has collection points for local food banks in many of its stores, with customers encouraged to purchase extra items for donation.