£21,000 worth of designer dresses donated to charity shop

(from left) Balma Martinez, Henry Butterfield, Alice Greenhill, Caroline McConnachie, David Cameron and Monika Krumina at Dundee's Shelter Scotland shop
(from left) Balma Martinez, Henry Butterfield, Alice Greenhill, Caroline McConnachie, David Cameron and Monika Krumina at Dundee’s Shelter Scotland shop

A homelessness charity says it is still “in shock” after receiving a donation of ball gowns and prom dresses worth over £21,000.

Shelter Scotland’s Dundee shop was gifted around 60 designer dresses – all with their original price tags still attached, showing they’re worth up to £295 each.

The items are now up for sale in the charity’s Perth Road shop for £30 each - a fraction of their original price. The total value of the donation is estimated to be around £21,300.

Knitwear, skirts, jackets and trousers were also donated with original price tags showing they are worth up to £145 each.

For every item sold, Shelter Scotland says it can help three people through its free national helpline. If every item is sold for £30, the charity has the potential to help over 250 families and individuals facing homelessness or bad housing.

Karen Kelbie, who has managed the Dundee Shelter Scotland shop for 20 years, said: “In my 20 years of managing the shop, I’ve never seen anything like it. We’re all still in shock.

“The dresses are just beautiful and perfect for anyone who has a formal occasion coming up – a wedding, a school prom or graduation ball.

“What could be better than dancing the night away in a beautiful dress, knowing you’ve just helped a vulnerable homeless person or a family living in poor quality housing?

“We are so grateful for this donation and it will make a big difference to Shelter Scotland’s work. The shop volunteers have worked tirelessly to get all of the gowns ready for sale and we excitedly look forward to welcoming people through the doors.

“Whatever the occasion, there’s a dress and size for everyone.”

Customers Henry Butterfield and Balma Martinez model the donations
Customers Henry Butterfield and Balma Martinez model the donations

The donation was made by Prego Boutique in Broughty Ferry. Owner Liza Sinclair said that she chose to donate the items after hearing about Shelter Scotland’s work.

Liza Sinclair said: “Many of our staff and customers live very fortunate lives where we don’t have to think about where we’re going to sleep each night or if we’re going to lose the roof over our heads altogether.

“After hearing about the vital work of Shelter Scotland I was moved to do whatever I could to help those in need and a donation of some of our beautiful dresses to the Dundee shop made perfect sense.

“If by doing our little bit we can make a difference to even one person, then it’ll all be worth it.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We are humbled that Liza and everyone at Prego Boutique thought of Shelter Scotland when making this generous donation.

“Every penny raised from the sales will go towards our fight to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a safe, secure and affordable place to call home.

“While this donation will go a long way to make a difference to families and individuals facing housing crisis, our shops are always in desperate need of donations to help raise funds. The people of Scotland have shown their support for us time and again and we’re urging them to continue to back us as we work to help more people who are facing the human tragedy of homelessness.

“Today in Scotland 150,000 households are on waiting lists for a home and over 35,000 people made homelessness applications in the last year alone. Your donations don’t have to have a designer label to make a difference; whether they’re as good as new or have seen better days - all donations are welcome.

“It costs just £10 for one of our expert advisors to help a family or individual at risk of losing their home – we can raise that money by selling an unwanted dress or pair of shoes.”

Last year Shelter Scotland’s Aberdeen shop was astounded when it received a mystery donation of designer goods worth £5,000. The charity shop sold out of the designer label attire within 24 hours.

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