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Ten weird items donated to Mind charity shops

Ten weird items donated to Mind charity shops

Mental health charity Mind has shared a list of some of the most peculiar items donated to its charity shops in the past year.

People donate the most amazing items to charity shops, and almost all of them can be converted into money to fund a charity’s work. Some are surprisingly valuable, others are simply peculiar. In the past year alone volunteers in Mind’s shops have come across a pair of see-through trousers, a used toilet seat and a box of human ashes.

Here is the charity’s latest list of 10 odd items donated to its shops. Not surprisingly, not all of them could be used by the charity.


Toilet seat donated to Mind's Guisborough shop

Toilet seat donated to Mind’s Guisborough shop


  • A completely see-through pair of men’s trousers, and matching shirt donated to the Mind shop in Stoke-on-Trent, and picked up the next day.
  • One used toilet seat, given to the shop in Guisborough. It was thrown away for obvious reasons
  • A set of false teeth, in our Bramley shop, also thrown away
  • A box of human ashes found in a jacket pocket by volunteers in Woking, and quickly returned to its owner.
  • A book called ‘Hairy Hunks: A Celebration of Shaggy Stallions’, which flew off the shelves according to employees at the Bury St Edmunds shop.
  • A unicycle given to the Alnwick shop and brought by a happy customer
  • A pregnant doll, also donated to the Alnwick shop. It came complete with a removable “bump” to reveal a hidden baby which can be taken out, and a stomach that unfeasibly flips to a flat for when the baby has been born.
  • A pair of nunchucks (not of the game console variety!) donated as part of a bag of toys, given to the Stoke-on-Trent shop. These were disposed of as they were deemed too dangerous to sell.
  • A catheter bag and tube, donated to the Alvaston shop, and swiftly binned.
  • A plastic container of gravy was given to the Hobs Moat Shop


Pregnant doll held by Mind charity shop manager at Alnwick

Pregnant doll held by Mind charity shop manager at Alnwick

How charity shop managers react to weird donations 

Usually donated items are re-used, re-cycled or re-sold to be used again. But that assumes a certainly cleanliness and fit-for-purpose state of the donated items.

Charity shop managers certainly get to see a wide variety of donated items.

Helen McMillan, Manager at the Alnwick Mind shop, said: “The pregnant doll is complete with a removable ‘bump’ to reveal a hidden baby which can be taken out, and a stomach that flips to a flat one for when the baby’s been born – like that happens haha!

“We keep it on our shelf of weird and wonderful things – dolls with eyes hanging out, that sort of thing. We once had a bag full of rubbish, where they’d obviously mixed up the bag of donations with a bag of rubbish! That one didn’t make it to the shelf…”


Mind's Alnwich shop has a shelf of weird donated items

Mind’s Alnwick shop has a shelf of weird donated items


Andrew Vale, Director of Mind Retail, said: “We are so grateful that people across the country donate to Mind shops.

“We get an interesting mix of items, and while I am not sure what I would do with transparent trousers, we urge everyone to keep giving.

“Last year thousands of donations were made to our 167 Mind shops, allowing us to help over 118,000 people through our helplines. With your help we can reach more people this year, which goes a long way in supporting those of us with a mental health problem.”


WATCH: volunteering at a Mind charity shop

More odd donations

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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