A recent appeal by the YMCA charity shop manager sporting two mannequins, partially clad, took me back to circa 1958, the era of at least 10 youth clubs in South Shields and in particular the YMCA on Fowler Street.
‘Happy Days’ for many lads and lasses, including myself where I met my wife, Anna.
In fact, in later years I joined the YMCA Board of Management in Northumberland, perhaps to help promote their voluntary work with young people. Regrettably I feel, a bit like churches, youth clubs are a jewel of yesteryear.
Our YMCA charity shop appeal for saleable goods begs another question. Why are they not receiving their fair share from the good folks of South Shields? Answer, ‘They are’ but, because there are far too many charity shops within the location of Ocean Road, King Street and Fowler Street, there are simply not enough donations to go around.
Charity shops per-se are lucrative money makers: Donated goods, reduced council rates, and in many cases, pay-free yet very willing volunteer workers.
If the call to increase our council taxes to support our NHS health service is announced, can I propose these charity shops start to pay their fair share of local council taxes?
Having asked the local YMCA charity shop manager, how her appeal is faring I can report ‘donations are looking up’. Very good, but we don’t have any local YMCA services in the town and as, charity begins at home, let the council look again at these empty shop charity arrangements.