Sobell, so bad, so why bother?

I’m so disappointed that I’m writing this post.  Sobell House is a marvellous institution – I know from personal experience – and they deserve all the support that they can get.  Unfortunately they really need to get their back end sh*t together or they’ll continue to lose value income.  In the current economic climate with services being cut because of central government policies and people’s disposable incomes being squeezed by static wage rises and inflation that verges on the criminal.

I had bagged up a load of my wife’s clothes, along with some of mine – all of them new, clean and in excellent condition – some never worn.  But donating them to Sobell proved to be a near impossibility.

Usually by the weekend their shop in Bicester is unable to take any more donations – yep, wasted my time driving into town on that fool’s errand and even then I knew they could only take a couple of bags at a time….

So I looked to see what other facilities they had to enable me to donate.  I found their website and the following information http://www.sobellhospicecharity.org.uk/node/148 – so it was only open on the 2nd Sunday of each month…not the most customer friendly, nor convenient for someone like me who lives almost 27 miles away.  anyway I stored everything in the spare room and waited for the day to arrive – last sunday.  Now obviously this wasn’t the only chore I had to perform on a sunday so I set out before the opening time – it’s a 40 minute drive after all but it was another wasted journey.

When I got there I could see from a black and white sign on the wall outside the unit that there was a sale on.  There were a few people around – I saw a couple coming out having purchased a paperback!  What the sign also informed me was that on sale days they cannot accept donations!

Now I had about 10 or 12 bags of clothes with a resale value of in excess of £100 (maybe much more) – even at charity shop prices.  Despite my irritation I thought I’d give it one last chance and drove back to Bicester and into Market Square to see if the shop was open – it wasn’t.

So the one choice left open to me – as I wanted to resolve the situation that same day – was to drive to the tip in Buckingham.  Which I did and a very helpful man there helped to unload my car and 80 odd miles and over 2 hours later I got back home.

What a waste of time and money – and I’m not referring to my time and petrol money which I’m happy to “donate” no I’m referring to the staff at Sobell’s warehouse.  I saw at least 2 jobsworths standing around outside the warehouse – doing nothing – then could have been unloading the donations I’d brought – or updating their website to let the public know that they’ll be wasting their time is they think they donate on sale days – maybe pre-publicise the sale days…..

And as to the waste of money well on the basis that the recycling centre’s clothes recycling is done on a commercial basis – absolutely none of that money will go to charity!  As I said what a waste of money – and remember that it currently costs around £4 million a year to run Sobell house, much of which is raised through the support and generosity of individuals and companies throughout the community.

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