Published Tuesday 11th October 2016

A sports shop chain exempt from charging for its carrier bags has introduced the measure anyway – to help raise funds for a Hereford hospice.

Clubsport has spent the past year collecting money from the sale of its five-pence carrier bags, raising £227.40 in the process.

The firm, which has 16 stores across Herefordshire, south Shropshire and mid-Wales, then doubled the figure and sent it to St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree.

‘We’ve had a really good response,’ said Simon Hussey, Clubsport’s Managing Director.

‘Some people have even given us £1 for a bag after hearing we were giving the money to the Hospice.’

Clubsport doesn’t have to charge anything for its carrier bags because it doesn’t employ the minimum number of staff needed to meet the Government criteria to do so.

But Simon said he wanted to raise money for St Michael’s, which holds a special place in his heart.

‘My mum went to St Michael’s Hospice and they looked after her really well. It’s an amazing place,’ he said.

‘It does a great service to the community, so it was a no-brainer to raise money for them.

‘We just thought we would do it and it’s worked really well.

‘Some people have said ‘no’ to paying the five pence, but the vast majority happily pay it.

‘We will continue doing this to raise funds for the Hospice – we won’t be stopping now.’

The Government introduced the carrier bag charge 12 months ago in a bid to reduce their use, and the litter they can cause, by encouraging people to reuse bags.

‘It is lovely that Clubsport has thought of us by donating the money they collected from their carrier bag sales,’ said Ruth Denison, the Hospice’s Director of Income and Marketing.

‘We would like to thank Simon and all his staff for this gesture, which is made even more impressive by the fact they didn’t have to charge for the bags in the first place.’