A HOSPICE offering end-of-life care to the terminally-ill was forced to close its donation centre after becoming “overwhelmed” by kind offers.

St Helena Hospice is appealing for help to find warehouse space after it closed the centre in Stanway, Colchester, last week.

The charity says it is desperately seeking space after being inundated with donations for its hospice shops.

Since the centre reopened in June, a wave of good will and support has seen it quickly reach full capacity.

The hospice is unable to accept any further donations until it can sort and distribute some of the stock.

Ian Daniels, the hospice’s head of retail, said: “The volume of donations we have received has been tremendous and we are so grateful to have the support of the local community, however we have reached the limit and we cannot accept any more donations this week without compromising the safety of our staff.

“Last Saturday alone we received three days’ worth of items.

“Our donation centre is full to the brim and we are urgently in need of additional space, such as a warehouse, or similar, that we can use on a short term basis until we can get on top of these donations.

“If anybody is able to lend us a space in Stanway, or nearby for a short period of time we would be so grateful.”

He added: “Closing the donation centre was the last resort and we’re working as quickly as we can to sort the items we have and to distribute as much as we can to our shops that are now open.

“We’re hopeful that now we have 13 shops open again, that we can send more stock their way over the next few weeks; but we need to wait for current stock to sell before we can restock the shelves.”

St Helena Hospice is currently the only charity in Stanway accepting donations for their shops.

The charity is also facing the challenges of having to quarantine the items donated for 48 hours before they can be sorted.

About 50 per cent of donated items can’t be sold and are either recycled or binned.

Ian added: “Last year alone we spent £64,000 on waste and I expect that will be more this year.

“It seems nearly everyone had a clear-out during lockdown and many of them have donated some fantastic and good quality items to us which we can sell and raise vital funds from for the hospice.

“However, around half of the items we have received are not sellable.”

Anyone who can help with additional storage space should call 01206 890165 or email retailadmin@sthelena.org.uk. To see the full list of items you can donate to St Helena Hospice, please visit sthelena.org.uk/shops.