A false leg, a sheep’s head and a Victoria Cross are among the most unusual items donated to charity, a survey has revealed.
The top 10- weird and wonderful items compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) also includes a pair of canaries, a live ferret and a ventriloquist’s dummy.
Charities including Oxfam, Guide Dogs For The Blind and Cancer Research UK submitted items for inclusion. The donations were left at charity shops or bequeathed as legacies.
However, some donations prove much more valuable.
A Doulton Faience ceramic vase was spotted by valuers working for Oxfam after it had been given to one of the charity’s high street shops. The piece, dating from about 1890, sold at auction for £2,400 earlier this year.
CAF, which works with more than 50,000 charities and helps 250,000 people give to good causes, said there were an estimated 10,500 charity shops in the UK and Ireland generating about £300nm a year for good causes.
More than nine in ten people (88%) have bought something from a charity shop.
Joanna Walker, of CAF, said: “People think about giving money, but it is fascinating to see all the surprising and strange items which have been donated to charities either via charity shops or bequeathed as legacies.
“Works of art and property can be hugely valuable to charities and provide enormous support for their work.
“The popularity of vintage chic means that one person’s junk may be a charity’s treasure and can be used again to provide vital resources for the causes we care about.
“People’s generous and unusual donations make charity shops and websites an amazing source of items to buy, helping people personalise their homes and supporting thousands of vital causes in the process.”
The CAF report comes as the British Heart Foundation urged people in West Yorkshire to donate unwanted Christmas presented rather than throw them away.
It said: “The average person receives at least one Christmas gift they don’t want each year and with 44% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber saying they feel guilty about getting a present they don’t want or won’t use, we’re urging the local community to turn this guilt into good by donating their unwanted Christmas gifts to BHF shops.
“We completely rely on the support of the community and last Christmas we were overwhelmed with the amazing gifts we received from people across the region.
“One person’s unwanted gift can be another person’s perfect present and 100% of the profits raised from items donated will go into the fight against heart disease and fund the BHF’s life saving research.”