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Revealed: the most bizarre items donated to charities

This news post is over 5 years old

Items donated by the public are getting weirder

A prosthetic leg, a sheep’s head and a live ferret are just some of the weird donations received down the years by charities around the UK, sent to either their offices or charity shops.

That’s according to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), who commissioned the research ahead of Giving Tuesday (27 November).

The day is the international day to do good for charity, with people across the globe encouraged to support a good cause in any way possible.

Celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Emma Watson and Wayne Rooney have all publicly supported the campaign.

A large, raw fish in a plastic bag (Waging Peace)
Elton John’s black leather, knee high, signed platform boots (Amnesty International)
A commemorative bottle of whisky to celebrate the royal wedding (Age UK)
Pair of “doggie wheels” for disabled dogs (Birmingham Dogs Home)
Dentures in a handbag and a live hedgehog – christened Harry – in a duffel bag (Salvation Army)
A stuffed tarantula in a cage, anonymously donated and a voodoo kit containing real human hair (Mind)
A rare book of 52 etchings by Piranesi that eventually raised £30,000 (Oxfam)

Elsewhere, Marie Curie has been fortunate enough down the years to receive a second-hand toilet seat, half-eaten black forest gateau, false teeth, glass eyes and dog nappies, all to their charity shops.

Ben Russell, director of communications at CAF, said: "As unusual as these donations are, they show the many ways people can support the charities they care about. And they show how important charity shops are, helping to raise millions of pounds annually for the good causes they represent.

“Giving Tuesday is the ideal moment to do something for a good cause. After the sales of Black Friday this is an ideal chance to give something back, whether it is giving something to a charity shop, organising a charity bake sale at work, pledging to volunteer or just helping out someone round the corner. There are countless ways to make a world of difference on 27 November.”

Andrew Vale, director of Mind Retail added: "We’re always very grateful to those who make donations to Mind shops. There have been some more unusual items donated in the past, such as a live hand grenade and a voodoo kit, which are impossible or inappropriate to put on sale. Although the saying goes it’s the thought that counts, we have a much better chance of benefitting from donations when they are practical and in good condition."