Please note, the following practices are restricted due to Covid-19 – read more here.
Four main steps
- Please check your donations are both clean and functional. Charity shops work because they can sell items with a second life. Unsaleable textiles will almost always be collected by the charity’s chosen textile recycler to be recycled or exported to overseas markets.
- It is best to call the shop first and check before bringing in any large item such as furniture or a large number of bags (to make sure they have space) or electrical appliances (to make sure that the shop has a qualified technician to test the goods). If you are unsure about your donation, it’s always best to check first. Use our website to find your local charity shops.
- Take your bag(s) of saleable clothing, bric a brac, toys, books etc into a charity shop and ask a staff-member where they would like you to leave them. Do not leave your donations outside the shop, unless there is a dedicated collection bank.
- If you are a UK taxpayer, you may be asked if you want to Gift Aid your donation: this means that the charity can receive an extra 25p from the Government, for every £1 they raise from selling your goods.
- Bicycles: Many charity shops do accept bicycles, otherwise contact Re-cycle who send second-hand bikes to Africa
- Computers: give to Computeraid International, Donate a PC or IT specialists in the Reuse Network
- Food (non-perishable): give to local food banks
- Medical equipment: can go to Mercy Ships
- Sewing machines: can also go to Tools for Self Reliance
- Sofas: guide to charities who take sofas
- Spectacles: many opticians run charity programmes with second-hand glasses
- Tools: Tools for bicycle repairs, blacksmiths, carpenters, engineers, mechanics, and shoe repairs are all welcomed by Tools for Self Reliance
Will a charity shop collect from my home or office?
Some charity shops are able to collect donations from you, for example if your donation is large. However, a charity shop’s capacity to be able to do this varies widely and we recommend that you contact the shop first to check.
You can also utilise charity house-to-house collection sacks that may appear through your front door. If you take this route we advise that you read the small print and make sure the sack you fill is going direct to a registered charity.