Strange items donated to south west London charity shops

Charity shops across Southwest London have revealed some of the strangest and most expensive selling items they have received.

Sell assistant at Twickenham’s British Heart Foundation, Stephanie Hunter spends her days sorting through piles of sent-in items and claims she has seen some bizarre things over her five years of working for the organisation.

Hunter explained how once the shop had received a handcrafted silver model made of metal screws and bolts which sold almost immediately.

Hunter said: “I’d never seen anything like it before, it was unusual and something you wouldn’t see in a normal shop on the shelf.

“On a daily basis, you’ll go shopping and you’ll find something you expect to see, and then you’ll go into a charity shop, and you’ll see something completely different you didn’t think existed.

“It’s the non-existent things we sell that pop.”

The shop is also handed rare retro DVDs, CDs, and the occasional cassette player which most of us no longer use.

To help her decide how to price these bizarre items, Hunter refers to the charity shop’s specific pricing guideline, she also browses through similar items listed on eBay.

Twickenham’s British Heart Foundation sees anything from 10 to 100s of items per day with many people coming in throughout the eight-hour day to drop off their unwanted products.

Fascinated by the community, Hunter chose to work at the British Heart Foundation because she feels it has good community spirits, the customers are lovely and the members of staff too.

Cancer Research also revealed a list of unexpected treasures donated to their Southwest London shops which sold for a small fortune.

The Chelsea Cancer Research shop received a Smythson Bond Street black leather briefcase which sold for £225.

The Cancer Research shop in Fulham was given a brass box containing a set of 1930s Commander in Chief Polish gliding medals which sold for £563.

The trading team at Cancer Research said: “As a charity, we are grateful for all good quality items donated to our shops as they are all valuable when it comes to funding our life-saving research.

“However, every once in a while, a real gem of particularly high value will come along such as the leather briefcase and box of medals.”

Cancer Research UK uses most of its money donated to fund ground-breaking and life-saving research for those with the disease and British Heart Foundation invested £133m, including a net £99m to medical research for heart disease in 2022-2023.

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