LOCAL residents are being urged to 'open their hearts and wardrobes' and help a charity appeal.

The Salvation Army Trading Company (SATCoL), which has a charity shop in Pickering is appealing for donations of unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories to help support its work in communities throughout the country

By having a wardrobe clear-out, people can help the work of The Salvation Army includes providing overnight shelter for homeless people, supporting victims of trafficking, providing hot meals and companionship for lonely elderly people and offering rehabilitation support to those seeking to break free from alcohol or drug addiction.

“We’d like as many people as possible to participate in the ‘Open your hearts & wardrobes’ campaign” said Mary Bellwood, Area Manager for Salvation Army Trading Company. “

"The average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes, and about 30% of it hasn’t been worn in the last year."

She added: " We want to encourage people to think about what’s lurking in the back of their wardrobe that they might be able to donate. Whether it’s a shirt that doesn’t fit, a party dress that hasn’t seen daylight for years, or a handbag that’s been replaced with a newer model – whatever you can spare – each and every donation will help us raise money to support the valuable work of The Salvation Army.”

The shop will be unveiling new window and in-store posters, and handing out leaflets to customers explaining what a huge difference donations of their unwanted wardrobe items could make. The shop is also happy to accept donations of toys, homewares, books, CDs and DVDs.

Mary said: “We hope that the ‘Open your hearts & wardrobes’ campaign will resonate with customers old and new.

“We want to encourage people to stop and think about how something seemingly small, like donating a few items to a charity shop, really can make a significant difference to the lives of others.”

Items can be left at the SATCoL charity shop in Birdgate, Pickering, phone 01751 472302

For more information visit www.wear2shop.co.uk