help with donating items to charity?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by peppa, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. peppa

    peppa Registered User

    Jun 5, 2007
    Hello all,

    We are in the process of clearing my mum's flat and have found that we have quite a lot to donate to charity. Does anyone know if there are a) charities that will pick up from your house? b) charities that will take bigger items (sofa/cupboard/fans/chairs)? We live in the London area.

    So far have looked at a lot of websites, but not found the answer to these questions. Not surprisingly, everyone is keen on cash/cheques/legacies. We would rather give to charity than have house clearance people in.

    peppa x

    ps happy new year to you all!;)
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Help the Aged did collect at one time. Also Womens` Refuges, and Social Services will arrange collections as the numbers aren`t given out freely. But soft furnishings must be fire resistant before any Charity will accept them, otherwise the local council will remove them for a small fee.
  3. peppa

    peppa Registered User

    Jun 5, 2007
    Thanks Sylvia! :)

    Your post led me to look at women's refuges and I then discovered you can sell through ebay and missionfish and make profits go directly to a whole range of charities, including AS! I think this should be advertised more on the AS website as it looks like a pretty straightforward way of donating.

    For anyone else that's interested:

    peppa x
  4. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    you can also give stuff away through freecycle if you can't find a suitable charity. However, that would involve registering with them if you're not already and you will then get lots of emails. If you are interested then google for Freecycle and you will see how it works and where your nearest one is.
  5. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #5 Margarita, Jan 7, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
    local Authority councils , also have a organization that collect old good use bigger items (sofa/cupboard/fans/chairs) from people houses for free .

    Just ring your local councils about it .

    Then they keep it for they tenants that are on befits or low income , who can't afford hight street prices , they get it at a real cheap rate , the money they pay go towards paying the drives that delivery it for then to they address .
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    We found Freecycle to be excellent, though it might be daunting to have lots of people for lots of things.


    The people who use Freecycle have, in our experience, made it a pleasure to dispose of things.

    Downside is that they need to come to the house to view and pick things up, so for a large quantity it would not be practical.

    We found that charity places wanted small items, not electrical. Larger items generally were scrapped. White melamine drawers were least wanted as there are so many about.

    I made friends with the men at the local tip, I went there so often!
  7. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    I've given away a heater through Freecycle to a very nice man who was very grateful. I had a large quantity of clothes hangers which I didn't think anyone would want, but I thought it was worth a try. I got one person who wanted me to hold on to them until she could get a lift and come for them, which never happened, and another one who wanted to come and pick and choose which hangers she wanted! I told her that she had to take them all or none of them, and she could do what she wished with any that were surplus to her requirements! She declined! My sister has also gotten rid of some of my parents' surplus items. Most people are very good, but you will get the odd time waster. You also get people who post messages asking for ridiculous amount of items for themselves, when they have never previously given anything away.
  8. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    'Giving to charity' in any way other than 'hard cash' does seem to be a bit of problem these days I know ...... any 'retaill outlets' can necessarily only take small 'bric-a-brac' type items for resale. Electrical goods and even second-hand toys/cuddlies etc, let alone furnishings, are often seen as 'no-nos' on health and safety grounds ....... it's not that the charities are not grateful for the donations ...... but they do have to exercise a degree of caution not to mention legal obligations under safety regulations ........

    I agree with Maggie - the local council tend to be a good point to advise about redistribution to people and organisations who can accept the generosity directly ......

    Well done Peppa. It's an unenviable task and so nice to think you are approaching it with other people in mind. :)

    Love, Karen, x
  9. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    Hi Peppa,

    we are based in south west london and have used the local authority / council furniture scheme.

    "We collect donated furniture from the area, which is in good condition, and recycle it to people in need"

    Works well as they collect and it goes to a good cause.

    I really hate using house clearance companies, so has been a great alternative.

    The only issue is electrical items. Most charities will not take these either for safety reasons. You can see their point, if the item is faulty and causes harm, it is difficult to work out who is responsible.

    hope that helps
  10. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    Talking of Freecycle, I saw a fantastic request over the christimas.

    WANTED: Loan of an oven.

    The posters oven broke down on xmas eve and they just wanted somewhere to cook their christmas lunch. Made me smile anyway :)
  11. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Can't help with your original query as I'm in Australia, but wanted to add the following in case it was helpful:

    From time to time over the last few years, Mum (with dementia) has suddenly got a "bee in her bonnet" about certain household or personal items that have been given away, or even thrown away! At the time this was done, we did it because that is what she wanted - but of course she does not remember this now. The last thing she got concerned about were two plastic bowls. :eek:

    Trying to explain what had happened to them is of no use - she denies having ever given them away. So my sister started saying to her:
    "Oh Mum, you gave that (or this, or whatever) to me and I find it SO useful! But I'll give it back if you really want it back."

    As you can see, if she ever DOES want it back we will have to try another tactic, but so far it has worked like a charm! Fortunately we have a large family so we can "invent" all sorts of new homes for items.

    I only say this because others may face a similar problem. It is now over 2 and 1/2 years since Mum went into a Care Home but she still sometimes gets worried about certain things - rarely objects of any real value. So perhaps you can come up with a suitable "story" to explain the item's absence . . . .??

    Yet another sad example of the subterfuges we have to use with our loved ones with dementia. :(
  12. peppa

    peppa Registered User

    Jun 5, 2007
    :)Thanks everyone, you've given me plenty to think about. Council, freecycle, etc.

    Nell - thanks for your suggestions of subterfuge! Sadly in this case my mum passed away in December, so no need for any more stories. I do know what you mean though...years ago we had a 'garage sale' at her instigation, and when we sold loads of things (she made herself unavailable that day) there were all sorts of recriminations!

    It is a heartbreaking process sifting through everything and I feel almost cruel piling up the things to donate/bin. My mum tried never to throw anything away and it doesn't seem right to be so gung-ho about disposing of her possessions. She had 'treasures' from all over the world with sentimental value that we just can't accommodate. I know that at least if things go to charity someone who wants them will be able to enjoy them. We haven't got onto the clothes yet, and the very thought makes me cry. :( Maybe this is a helpful part of the grieving process, but it sure isn't easy.

    Thanks to you all for your help, and keep up the good work!

    peppa x
  13. VIB35

    VIB35 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    Hi, you could also try Emmaus - they pick up larger items and sell them on. I'm sure they have offices/shops in London. Sorry to hear about your mother.
  14. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Peppa

    Help the Aged cleared MIL's house. Big furniture as well as bric a brac


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