CHARITY shops have said they have been ‘inundated’ with donations as lockdown restrictions loosen.

Witney stores have reported that despite the retail sector opening up again in June, shops are still battling against en masse donations.

The situation is also impacted by coronavirus guidelines that stores are operating with, such as quarantining donations and organising designated donation days.

Burford-based animal welfare charity Blue Cross is one such organisation where its Witney shop has seen a huge number of donations.

REVEALED: The hack to getting a coronavirus test in Oxford

Susan Palmer, shop manager of the High Street store, said: “There has been a constant flow of donations since lockdown eased and we’ve now got special donation days on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“At the moment we have a huge amount of stock so we’re asking people to hold onto items or only donate small bags.

“You don’t want to stall the flow of donations as that’s where your main income is coming from, the last thing we do is refuse items but it is difficult at the moment.

“I think people had time on their hands and were sorting out their homes, lockdown gave people an opportunity to have a sort out.”

Read more: Teenager opens her own beauty salon

The situation is a similar one down the road at the Oxfam bookshop.

Kathleen Howlett, a volunteer at the store, said: “We’re overwhelmed with donations at the moment, but we’ve also had to empty the back of the shop as we’re not allowed to touch them for 48 hours.

“We are inundated but people just have to be a little more patient with us and how much they can donate.

“The public has been really good though, people are wanting to bring in half a dozen carrier bags, which we used to be able to take no problem, but at the minute we can’t.”

The shop has set up donation days on Tuesday mornings and from Thursday to Saturday, with appointments pre-booked. The store is also closed on Mondays to sort through donations.

Read also: Football fan with cancer sent signed shirt by star

Adam Hazell has struggled to donate items to Witney stores following the death of his father, Barry Hazell.

Mr Hazell said: “My dad recently died and he had a lot of stuff like collectable cigarette cards, vinyl records, Super 8 movies, and original Beatles records which you can’t even give away to charity at the minute.

“Some of these things could have a good value, but we can’t find a charity shop to donate to.

“I’ve phoned every charity shop in Witney but they’re all too busy.

“It seems weird to me that charity shops aren’t taking things that could be valuable, it’s a really frustrating situation.

“We want to be moving on with our lives but at the minute, we’ve got all this stuff that we’re struggling to donate and that to me is bonkers.”

Read more: Retail units let with more to follow

One shop that appears to be bucking the trend however is the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary store in Corn Street.

Linnet Brooks, the shop’s assistant manager, said: “We’ve had a lot of donations, but we’re not overwhelmed.

“There’s a very steady flow of donations but we’re moving it really well.

“It’s nothing we can’t handle and we’re not turning anything away aside from things we can’t sanitise like teddy bears.”

The shop has donation appointments on Mondays and Thursdays, while new regulations mean donations are quarantined for 72 hours.