Peter Higgins, retail operations manager for Lifeline Northern Rivers with Matt George from Summit Health and Fitness, Jenny Railton from Lifeline South Lismore, Donna Bashforth from Telstra and Robyn Fletcher and Annola McQuade from the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club.
Peter Higgins, retail operations manager for Lifeline Northern Rivers with Matt George from Summit Health and Fitness, Jenny Railton from Lifeline South Lismore, Donna Bashforth from Telstra and Robyn Fletcher and Annola McQuade from the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club.

Lifeline looking for quality

The difficult economic times have affected the retail industry, and it may surprise some that even charity retail shops such as Lifeline are struggling too.

Lifeline Northern Rivers is meeting this challenge with an innovative program aimed at improving the quality of their merchandise by making it easier for people to donate to their stores, as well as have a big spring clean out.

Rather than simply standing back and waiting for people to come to them with donations, Lifeline Northern Rivers has designed and produced sturdy, reusable hessian bags that can be made available at workplaces, sports clubs, schools or anywhere else that people pass through as part of their daily routine. These bags are also available from the Lifeline shops at Ballina, Byron Bay, Casino, and Magellan Street, Casino Street and Three Chain Road Lismore.

Peter Higgins, retail operations manager for Lifeline Northern Rivers, said they know people have always been willing to donate but can find it difficult to get organised.

"We're trying to improve the quality of our donations because we have strict quality control," Peter said. "75% of donations are not fit to be sold on our floors and, while most of them get recycled or sent to third world countries, we have a need for quality garments, and corporate donations will be a great start."

As always Lifeline Northern Rivers has found some wonderful community partners to help get this new donation drive up and running successfully.

Lifeline will be working with fantastic businesses and organisations including Summit Health and Fitness, Telstra, Trinity Catholic College and the Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club initially, but would like to broaden the spectrum to other businesses as well.

Matt George from Summit Health and Fitness said he has 150 bags to fill and he hopes members of the gym and staff will be able to donate, especially those who are losing weight and changing body shape.

"They can donate clothes that no longer fit and go to the Lifeline retailers to get new clothes," Matt said.

Donna Bashforth from Telstra said collection was easy for them because they got the bags picked up.

"We didn't have to think or organise everything so it made it really easy," Donna said.

Lifeline is looking for other community partners to work with them on this program so if you or your business want to be involved give Peter Higgins or Alicia Ferderer a call on 6621 8516.

For further information contact Niall Mulligan, Counselling Centre manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers on 6622 4133 or 0400 221 143.


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