A HOSPICE has opened its first clothing bank to try and generate more donations.

People who want to donate clothes to St Cuthbert's Hospice, in Durham, can now drop them off at the facility at Poplar Tree Garden Centre, in Shincliffe, just outside the city.

Anything left at the bank will be sold at one of the hospice's eight shops in County Durham, with proceeds going towards the cost of providing free end-of-life care to patients, support for their families and a range of other therapies for people with life-limiting illnesses.

The clothing bin was paid for by estate agent JW Wood.

Kay Carrick, senior donor development fundraiser at the hospice, said: “We are incredibly grateful to both local businesses for coming together to support the hospice in this way.

"The success of our charity shops is entirely due to the generosity of the general public, kindly donating their pre-loved quality goods.

"Having the clothing bank in such a great location will enable our supporters in the area to easily donate during Poplar Tree’s opening hours.

"Many visitors to the garden centre will see the donation point when visiting and hopefully think of us when having a clear out."

We can’t thank Poplar Tree Garden Centre enough for allowing us to use this space.”

Caroline Walker, from the garden centre, said: “We try to support the hospice as much as we can throughout the year such as sponsoring their raffle and donating a percentage of proceeds from our Christmas fair too.

"It’s a genuine pleasure to be able to support the hospice with the clothing bank and help to increase donations. The bank has been in place for a few days and already it’s half full.”

The clothing bank will be emptied regularly by St Cuthbert’s volunteer van drivers, meaning the donated goods can be sorted and distributed to the shops as quickly as possible.

Richard Johnson, Operations Director at J W Wood said, “We have supported St Cuthbert’s Hospice in many ways over the years and are thrilled to help them yet again with this important retail initiative. We hope that many people choose to support the hospice as they are such a vital charity in our region and one which is close to our hearts."