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Barnardo’s launches campaign to encourage donation of unwanted gifts

Barnardo’s launches campaign to encourage donation of unwanted gifts

Barnardo’s is encouraging people to give their unwanted Christmas presents to charity after a survey showed that 1 in 5 people feel too guilty to do so.

The YouGov survey of 2,050 UK adults for the charity found that just under half of present receivers (47%) say they have received gifts they don’t want and will never use, with more than a third (36%) saying they put these gifts in a cupboard and never use them. One in ten people who didn’t donate their unwanted gift to charity said it was because they hang on to them in order to pretend to the gifter that they use the item, while 20% feel too guilty to pass on their unwanted gifts.

Almost half said they received unwanted gifts last year, with novelty items, cosmetic sets, candles and cookbooks the most unwanted.

  • 40% donated them to charity
  • 36% stored them away in a cupboard and never used them
  • 34% re-gifted their unwanted gifts
  • 11% re-sold sold them
  • 4% returned them to the place it was purchased from
  • 4% threw them away

Barnardo’s is launching a new campaign asking people to donate their unwanted festive gifts to their local Barnardo’s charity shop.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“We’ve all received gifts that end up at the back of a cupboard. But this year, instead of holding onto gifts that you’ll never use, we’re asking people to donate them to their local Barnardo’s shop. Donating to our stores means somebody else can find joy in our unwanted gifts. It also helps Barnardo’s to bring care, hope and love to vulnerable children across the UK, at Christmas and all year round.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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