Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Coming to a Demon near you... (okay maybe not)

I stressed last year how important it was to try and build up a portfolio with enough published articles to try and impress my future employers. But last year work-experience everywhere was fully booked, and my uni newspaper was charging £30 for anyone wanting to join and write for them [sounds like a small fee but not when you're already £998 overdrawn]

But then when you get to third year and all of your friends are the feature eds/news eds/ general editor then things tend to get a bit easier. My lovely friend F, the editor of our uni newspaper The Demon was having a good rant the other day about everyone being too busy to write and submit content, cue bright idea Dans here wondering why the heck she hadn't pulled her finger out before.

F said they are always looking for content and need news stories to be 300-500 words, with features a good 1,000 with a nice pic, and a small plead from F to SUBMIT WHATEVER YOU CAN.

I've been really stressed lately and didn't have any ideas, I asked My Boyf and he said the Ed of Marie Claire magazine in the meeting he had with her at London Fashion Week (GRRR) was constantly talking about the effect that the recession was having on fashion, with designers making their clothes more user-friendly and longer-lasting.

Good idea, I thought, and tried to go on it but couldn't really find a Leicester link. And then when I was out and about in town - window shopping, of course, as it is still February - I went into Oxfam and had a sudden brainwave. Cue notepad and pen grabbed out of bag, and young unsuspecting shop volunteer being interrogated for a good few minutes about the effect the state of the economy is having on charity shop trade.

Et voila! Made the fashion pages today, yay!

Charity shops struggle in hard times
D Wright

High street retailers aren’t the only ones feeling the credit crunch as charity shops have been left with empty rails due to a fall in donations.

As cash-strapped customers choose to save money by not buying new clothes, they are continuing to wear last years’ fashions instead of bagging them up and donating them to their local charity shop.

At the same time customers are racing to charity shops to pick up the latest bargain, leaving shops struggling to find enough good-quality clothes to keep their shelves properly stocked.

A volunteer at the Oxfam shop in Leicester’s Market Street, who would like to remain anonymous, said they have been hit hard by the current economic crisis although they are advised to stay positive.

She said: “We like to think there hasn’t been much difference in the amount of donations in and goods out of the shop although it’s clear that we’ve been a lot quieter than normal lately.

“It’s just a shame. Of course Oxfam are continually doing well in raising money but the quality of donations has definitely decreased. And if you look around the shop you’ll see items that have been in here for three, four weeks that would usually have been snapped up straight away.

“People are thinking twice about both donating and buying clothes from second-hand shops and soon enough it will start to have a big effect on individual shops and sales.”

Rob McNeill, a spokesman for Oxfam, has always stressed on how much charity shops need their customers’ help. He said: “Our donations are starting to decline and demand for products is up, so we are saying to people: ‘Please, please bring your unused stuff to us.’ Even if you’re feeling broke, get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit, or you don’t like, and freeing up space in your cupboard can literally save lives.”

Oxfam’s shops made a profit of £20 million last year, although the charity now has to work harder to bring the customers in. They recently teamed up with Marks and Spencers to give out a £5 voucher to anyone donating clothes from the high-street giant, which is thought to have prompted more than 500,000 donations.

And as Faye is really struggling for content, she's just this second asked me to write 600 words on Jade Goody... yay! It's in the comments section and so can be from any angle, and include any opinion I wish to include..! The only problem is, she wants it by tomorrow morning to make this edition too!

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