New fundraising method for Topsham charity

SHOPPERS can now give something extra to a Topsham charity thanks to a tax-reclaim facility.

The Estuary League of Friends, which has two charity shops in the town, has introduced a facility called Gift Aid which is applied to most of the items they sell, ranging from books to large pieces of furniture.

Those who donate goods for the shops to sell, sign a simple one-off declaration saying they are UK taxpayers.

The declaration then allows the charity to reclaim a tax top-up – often as much as 28 per cent of the amount paid for any item sold in the shops.

Rachel Gilpin, chief executive of the Estuary League of Friends, said: “It’s an easy system for those who are kind enough to donate, but it’s a valuable new way of fundraising for us.

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“This is one way the community and the charity can work together to do exactly that.

“For anyone giving to our shops, it’s very simple – they complete a form and sign it just once. From that time, we’re able to add as much as 28 per cent to their donation to us.”

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Volunteers, meanwhile, will be in with a chance of a treat in recognition of the help they give to the charity.

Around 50 people regularly help the Estuary League of Friends in offering support services like luncheon clubs, nail-cutting services, outings and general help to older residents.

Now they will be able to nominate one of their group of volunteers each month to receive a letter of thanks and a voucher which will entitle them to a free cream tea at Route 2 caf� bar.

Ms Gilpin said: “All our volunteers are absolutely vital to the work we do. We’re so grateful whether they do an hour where they can, or whether they give dozens of hours every month.

“Now all of them will have the chance to enjoy a delicious treat too.

“We’re always looking for new volunteers. Recently we’ve had several young people in their teens and 20s join us, helping in our shops, visiting our clients and helping with fundraising.

“There are a range of different things to be done, some involving training and all of them providing valuable help to our community.”

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