Unwanted Christmas presents are finding a good home at Huddersfield’s charity shops – and it seems some people can’t wait to get rid.
Kay Dent, manager of the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice shop in Manchester Road, Longroyd Bridge, said unwanted presents were being delivered as soon as the shop reopened the day after Boxing Day.
But Kay, whose shop is the biggest in Huddersfield, added: “We have had people clearing out before Christmas ready for the new presents and people coming in after Christmas with unwanted presents.
“Before Christmas it was mainly kids’ toys with people clearing out the cupboard for the new toys. After Christmas it has been toys, toiletry gift sets and some clothes.”
Kay said deliveries of unwanted gifts tended to tail off towards mid-January with people holding on to them “just in case they get asked about them”.
A spokesperson for the Bradley -based hospice said: “We always see an increase in donations at this time of year – although whether that’s unwanted Christmas presents or people having a bit of a clear out to make room for their new stuff, it’s hard for us to say.
“We are, obviously, hugely grateful for any and all good quality donations – from toys to clothes, electrical goods, even furniture.”
Adele Battye, shop manager at the British Heart Foundation store at New Street, said: “We got some in as soon as we opened the day after Boxing Day. We got big tubs of sweets and buckets of sweets, deodorants and socks. If people feel they absolutely don’t want something, they will get rid of it – but we welcome it.”
She said the tide of donations of unwanted gifts had slowed this week, but said that was partly due to the charity no longer distributing bags for people to fill “on impulse” and leave out for collection.
Instead, people unable to hand items in over the counter are asked to contact the charity if they have items for collection by ringing 01484 434830. Said Adele: “We are screaming for stock, especially clothes and toys. Word has not got out that we are doing these pick-ups. People also think it is an expensive way for us to trade, but it isn’t.”
Adrian Hughes, manager at the Oxfam shop on New Street, said: “Last Saturday, we had an awful lot of stuff through the door that would come under the category of unwanted presents – mainly things you might call bric-a-brac and homeware, toiletry sets and ornaments.
“We always do a little bit of an appeal for this sort of thing. Who hasn’t received something that doesn’t work with their house?”
Mr Hughes said a lot of donations at this time of year were also from people making space at home for goods bought in the sales.
In a survey by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), 58% of people polled said they have “gifted” an unwanted Christmas present – either to a charity or to someone else. In addition, 78% of felt that Christmas in the UK has become too materialistic while 44% agreed that they had “too much stuff”.
Festive gifts that people had donated to charity or given away, according to the survey, include a Scottie dog biscuit container, a slow cooker, slippers that you heat up in the microwave, cleaning cloths, a globe, an ironing board, an indoor fountain, a 12-inch animatronic Spider-Man that sings Itsy-Bitsy Spider and a book about dogs – which had been given to someone without a dog.
Sir John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: “Everyone loves getting presents at Christmas, but it’s also a time when we think about making a new start in the new year.
“As we count the pile of presents that we’ve enjoyed receiving from family and friends, we can also think of ways to help those less fortunate. Donating items to charity that we’ll never use is a great way of raising much-needed funds for a good cause.”