Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

St Barnabas Hospice wins award for lockdown Donation Drive-Thru

Three women from St Barnabas hospice with the award won for their Covid Donation Drive Thru
(l-r) Head of Retail Caroline Peach, Retail Area Manager Grace Cook, and County Area Manager Emma Turner.

St Barnabas Hospice won the ‘Most Creative Use of Lockdown’ award at this year’s Charity Retail Association Conference, for its Donation Drive-Thru.

St Barnabas Hospice’s Donation Drive-Thru allowed more than 60 tons of donations to be made throughout the national lockdown, meaning shops could reopen with enough stock.

To create the events, the car park at St Barnabas Hospice’s Central Warehouse, which has a separate entrance and exit, was converted into Lincolnshire’s first Donation Drive-Thru.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

A booking system was set up to manage bookings and collect supporter data, meaning the team could control how many people turned up during each half-hour window to ensure social distancing and a Covid-secure way of processing drop-offs. Relevant information was filled in online ahead of visits to save time with processes such as Gift Aid.

Head of Retail at the Hospice, Caroline Peach, explained:

“As soon as our charity shops were forced to close in the pandemic, the retail team realised we needed a plan of action for stocking our 26 charity shops for reopening. We also knew we would experience a surge of donations from people who spent time in lockdown sorting their homes out.”


“The first month saw around 15,000 bags and boxes of items donated, equating to almost 60 tonnes in weight. In total, item donations were around ten times the amount that we would have seen in a normal July.


“We also welcomed 45 new volunteers to help sort the items, as well as 61 volunteers to help in the charity shops once they reopened.


“From the first four weeks of bookings, 505 of the 640 donors claimed Gift Aid on the items they donated. This is an incredible 79% of those booked in. Normally, we would only see around 25% of people Gift Aid their donation. We’re so pleased to be able to continue raising funds for those who need our services.”

Those wishing to donate now can still use the donation drive-thru or drop items at the hospice’s charity shops.