Bags of clothing and other items donated to St Luke’s Hospice have been stolen from the doorstep of the charity shop in Hartford.

Over the past few months dozens of donations, which have been left outside the shop by kind-hearted residents, have been stolen.

Joy Dickens, shop manager, said: “It is absolutely disgusting. It is just unbelievable that people would steal from a charity shop. Residents are good enough to support our shop because they want to help St Luke’s and then something like this happens, it’s very upsetting.

“The problem is when people leave donations on the door step of the shop when it is closed, either in the evening or at weekends. Residents along Chester Road have told us that they’ve seen a van pull up outside the shop and the donation bags are loaded into it. In some cases ten bags in one day have been stolen.”

Details of the thefts have been passed on to Cheshire Police. Staff at St Luke’s are also looking at ways to prevent future thefts, possibly by introducing a clothes bank nearby. In the meantime, volunteers are monitoring the shop during the evenings and weekends so that any donations left on the doorstep can be promptly moved.

Joy added: “We are so grateful to the community of Hartford for their ongoing support, they are so generous with their donations. However, we are urging residents to please not leave donations on the doorstep, but where possible deliver them into the shop during our opening hours.”

St Luke’s charity shop on Chester Road in Hartford is open 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday. It sells small items of furniture; homeware; bric-a-brac; children’s books, toys and clothing; and a wide range of pre-loved men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. For more information please visit www.slhospice.co.uk.