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Dougie Mac Charity shops have positive impact on wellbeing with social value of £173.78 million.

Dougie Mac Hospice has played an instrumental part in the research and production of a ground-breaking new report commissioned by the Charity Retail Association (CRA).

‘The Value of Giving Back – The Social Return of Charity Shops’ report is the first of its kind to be created for the charity retail sector to investigate the value charity shops have to society beyond the hundreds of millions of pounds they raise for their parent charities each year.

The Social Return on Investment (SROI) report, ‘The Value of Giving Back – The Social Return of Charity Shops’ has been created to understand the social value generated by UK charity shops and the benefits they bring to customers, staff, volunteers, and donors, and was undertaken using established principles of assessing social value.

The CRA report found that all charity shops across the UK generated £75.3 billion of social value in 2022.

Dougie Mac alone operates 21 charity shops across North Staffordshire.  Utilising the Social Value Tool Kit specially created as part of the study, the hospice was able to calculate that its charity shop network generated £173.78 million of social value (Apr 2022- Mar 2023).

Both Dougie Mac and the overarching report found that 49% of this total social value is linked to giving back to others or the planet, whilst 29% is about a sense of community and being met with friendliness and compassion in charity shops. On top of funds raised for charities, every pound spent on operating charity shops generates an additional phenomenal £7.35 in social value.

Giving back to others, doing something good for the planet and opportunities to socialise were among the top responses people gave when asked what charity shops mean to them.

The report found that as well as being affordable and sustainable places to shop, charity shops also play an important role in improving people’s lives and wellbeing, generating social value in many different ways.

Karen McKenzie, Director of Income Generation at Dougie Mac and Company Secretary, Charity Retail Association said:

“We are entering an unprecedented period when the power of ‘good’ is being recognised and valued by modern society perhaps like never before.  Dougie Mac is proud to be a part of this opportunity to highlight the immense value of charity shops to society for social cohesion, lived experiences and the impact of giving back to people and the planet.

“People are what have shaped our organisation to be what it is today.  It really is astounding that from one shop opened in 1994 on Piccadilly, Hanley, we have become one of the largest chains of retail shops in the area. We couldn’t do it without the support of 450 wonderful volunteers, thousands of generous donors and loyal customers and an incredibly committed staff workforce.

“Dougie Mac charity shops are at the heart of our local communities, the public face and occupy a special place on high streets and surrounding villages. It has been very rewarding to gain more insight into the positive impact they have and find out more about why we are so valued by the people that engage with us.”

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, said:

“It’s well known that charity shops are fantastic places to find affordable clothing and homeware, but this report has allowed us to dig deeper into the impact that charity shops also have on people’s wellbeing and the importance of charity shops to communities. The report has been an opportunity to showcase the ways in which working, volunteering, shopping in or donating to charity shops can really make a difference to people’s lives and how they see themselves.

 “We hope that the findings of ‘The Value of Giving Back – The Social Return of Charity Shops’ report will provide a useful insight for charities, as well as establish recognition of the incredibly important, varied and beneficial role charity shops play in our society.”