A charity shop in Surbiton is facing an uphill battle against fly tipping and donations being dumped overnight outside its store front.

The Fircroft Trust charity shop is located on St Andrew's Road in Surbiton and has been impacted by a deluge of donations and unwanted fly tipping being left outside the shop.

Staff at the shop say the items regularly obstruct the entrance for staff and customers alike and have placed considerable pressure on the workers there.

The shop's Manager, Julie Moss, told the Comet they had been badly affected and received very limited support from Kingston Council (RBK).

"The fly tipping is left outside our shop and people can't walk past our shop, they have to walk into the road, even ladies with buggies, old people and a resident who is blind who we now have to guide sometimes," she said.

"We've called the council six times now...they (a council representative) came on Monday and took one look, made a phone call and left without even speaking to us."

The charity shop manager added that the problem had been going on "forever" and was getting worse.

"It's been going on forever...we clear it because we don't expect customers to deal with it, to trip over...and it doesn't look very nice outside our shop. Now we're only allowed to go to the tip once a month," Ms Moss said.

Another worker at the shop offered further details regarding their use of a nearby dump by permission of RBK:

"We used to be allowed to go twice a week, but now if we go more than once a month we have to pay and obviously that will go out of the charity's money.

"But we get so much fly tipping that we need to go...our driver takes rubbish to the dump quite often.

"We're closed on Sunday and when we open on Monday we are left with so many bags," the staff member said.

In response, a spokesperson for RBK told the Comet that fly tipping was not a major issue in the borough.

They also said that they were "not aware" of any recent reports of fly tipping at the premises, in apparent contradiction to the claims of the shop's staff:

"Kingston has relatively low levels of reported fly tipping compared to other London boroughs," the spokesperson said.

"Complaints to the council about fly tipping outside of charity shops are not common and the vast majority of shops manage their own donations and waste items through commercial arrangements.

"The council, as a concession, allow Fircroft to use its waste site for items that cannot be reused or recycled as well as access to recycling facilities for other items. Further access can be arranged at cost.

"We are not aware of any recent fly tipping reports from the Charity Fircroft," the RBK spokesperson said.

They added that since 2018 they had attempted to work with the staff at the Fircroft shop to try and mitigate the situation.

"Last year, the council provided advice to them including placing signage discouraging donations being left when closed and monitoring times that fly tipping was occurring in order for us to be able to investigate further," RBK said.

Despite the fact that some of the items might be donations for the Fircroft Trust — a mental health charity — Ms Moss said the shop cannot use any legitimate donations left outside as they were unfit for customers.

"We can't use it, we're not going to touch it because it's dirty now, foxes have been (urinating) on it.

"We've put loads of posters in the windows to tell people not to leave donations outside when the shop is shut but they just put the stuff there anyway, and people are adding to it," she said.