Donated toys found in skip

Northwich Guardian: Ryan with toys recovered from skip Ryan with toys recovered from skip

A GRANDMOTHER was upset after children’s toys she donated to a Northwich charity shop were found in a skip.

After accidentally leaving a bag of Christmas decorations along with the toys, Beverley Stubbs’ daughter Adele Smallwood, 28, returned to find a number of the donations in a skip behind St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice shop in Witton Street.

Mrs Stubbs, from Winnington, was disappointed three-year-old grandson Ryan’s toys, including a Noah’s Ark, a drum and a Christmas teddy, were not put to good use.

“The Christmas decorations were upstairs in the staff room but all of the toys had been scrapped,” she explained.

“We could have given them to other people, but gave them to charity to try and help them raise a bit of money.

“Adele got most of them back but a few were missing. We were very angry, especially as they should be going to children.”

However, St Luke’s confirmed they have a strict policy on which toys cannot be resold, including toys without a CE Mark, with pieces missing, that are non-flame retardant or that have safety labels removed.

“We were sorry to hear that Mrs Stubbs was unhappy following her kind donation of goods to our shop in Northwich,” said Andrea Fragata Ladeira from St Luke’s.

“We have extended an invitation to her to meet with a relevant person here at St Luke's so we can fully explain our processes on receiving items.

“As a charity we are very grateful for all items donated, however there are some goods which for a number of reasons we cannot put on sale.

“Where possible, items are generally recycled or sold to a rag merchant with the proceeds then being fed back into the charity funding stream – this is not always possible and some need to be disposed of.

“We are extremely grateful for all donations received and would never knowingly dispose of anything which could be sold to support patient care at St Luke’s.”

Comments (9)

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10:18am Thu 12 Dec 13

MrT1976 says...

I too have had an issue with the same charity regarding collection of furniture during my house move. I arranged for them to come on the moving date to take three wall cabinets, table and chairs and also a never-sat-on slight pet damaged fully certificated fire proof leather recliner. On the day of the move they turned up with a van took one look at the wall cabinets and said no because they had no room to store them and no to the recliner due to it being un-saleable because of the cat scratches on it and only took the table and chairs. So why on my initial call to them did they not say that they couldn't take the wall cabinets and couldn't have the chair?? Not one word was said they just agreed everything over the phone and the refused when they came to collect. I find it so disgusting that they can just refuse because they couldn't sell things or store them....they are a CHARITY, surely they can donate the items to a family who needs????? I will never donate anything to that charity or Sue Ryder charity as prior to my move I walked in to the Northwich branch and asked if I could donate my furniture to them only to be told that they wouldn't take the wall cabinets because they just sit and don't sell!!!! What is wrong with charities these days, it's all about the money.....what happened to just saying yes we'll take it and we can be CHARITABLE by helping out families who have nothing.
I too have had an issue with the same charity regarding collection of furniture during my house move. I arranged for them to come on the moving date to take three wall cabinets, table and chairs and also a never-sat-on slight pet damaged fully certificated fire proof leather recliner. On the day of the move they turned up with a van took one look at the wall cabinets and said no because they had no room to store them and no to the recliner due to it being un-saleable because of the cat scratches on it and only took the table and chairs. So why on my initial call to them did they not say that they couldn't take the wall cabinets and couldn't have the chair?? Not one word was said they just agreed everything over the phone and the refused when they came to collect. I find it so disgusting that they can just refuse because they couldn't sell things or store them....they are a CHARITY, surely they can donate the items to a family who needs????? I will never donate anything to that charity or Sue Ryder charity as prior to my move I walked in to the Northwich branch and asked if I could donate my furniture to them only to be told that they wouldn't take the wall cabinets because they just sit and don't sell!!!! What is wrong with charities these days, it's all about the money.....what happened to just saying yes we'll take it and we can be CHARITABLE by helping out families who have nothing. MrT1976

2:57pm Thu 12 Dec 13

tuggy16 says...

The trouble is the charity shops are getting too fussy,they could take them but explain that they would have to be sold for scrap or rags.
At least they would get something for them,and the person giving would know that some good as come out of it.Throwing in a skip behind ones back is not doing the decent thing.
The trouble is the charity shops are getting too fussy,they could take them but explain that they would have to be sold for scrap or rags. At least they would get something for them,and the person giving would know that some good as come out of it.Throwing in a skip behind ones back is not doing the decent thing. tuggy16

5:10pm Thu 12 Dec 13

GOFFY says...

I asked furniture finders from Winsford if they wanted some furniture from our house when they arrived they asked for the petrol money for collecting it, needless to say they have not been back since. I have been a member of the St Luke lottery for many years, now l will reconsider when it time to pay again if its time to cancel my membership.
I asked furniture finders from Winsford if they wanted some furniture from our house when they arrived they asked for the petrol money for collecting it, needless to say they have not been back since. I have been a member of the St Luke lottery for many years, now l will reconsider when it time to pay again if its time to cancel my membership. GOFFY

8:50am Fri 13 Dec 13

MrT1976 says...

I also tried furniture finders in Winsford Goffy, they were actually the first place I tried because I liked the fact they were trying to help families with pretty much nothing. I rang them to arrange collection only to be told that unfortunately they weren't collecting in my area (Hartford) until after my move date!!. Why could they not come out and collect it?? the excuse of " well we're not collecting in Hartford until 2 weeks blah blah blah" is not acceptable. I wanted to help out families/people living with not a lot in their homes with some furniture that was not damaged and good and useable, but everywhere I tried I was prevented by one shoddy reason after another. They all should be ashamed.
I also tried furniture finders in Winsford Goffy, they were actually the first place I tried because I liked the fact they were trying to help families with pretty much nothing. I rang them to arrange collection only to be told that unfortunately they weren't collecting in my area (Hartford) until after my move date!!. Why could they not come out and collect it?? the excuse of " well we're not collecting in Hartford until 2 weeks blah blah blah" is not acceptable. I wanted to help out families/people living with not a lot in their homes with some furniture that was not damaged and good and useable, but everywhere I tried I was prevented by one shoddy reason after another. They all should be ashamed. MrT1976

1:18pm Fri 13 Dec 13

GrumpyBum says...

Its not charity shops getting fussy, its the do it and sue culture this country has adopted. Should a child decide to put a toy with no labels in its mouth, the store and ultimately the charity could face legal proceedings eating in to their much needed funds.
Its not charity shops getting fussy, its the do it and sue culture this country has adopted. Should a child decide to put a toy with no labels in its mouth, the store and ultimately the charity could face legal proceedings eating in to their much needed funds. GrumpyBum

3:15pm Fri 13 Dec 13

j@northwich says...

GrumpyBum is right- charity shops have the same responsibilities as other retailers. When I was working at a charity shop in town a customer came in and raised merry hell and demanded a refund because she'd bought a jigsaw puzzle with 1 piece missing! On another occasion a lady donated a bag of kiddies clothes her baby had grown out of- sounds very generous, but when it was tipped out every item was filthy- including dirty nappies!! Charity workers have a fine line to work to, making the most for the charity without offending donors.
GrumpyBum is right- charity shops have the same responsibilities as other retailers. When I was working at a charity shop in town a customer came in and raised merry hell and demanded a refund because she'd bought a jigsaw puzzle with 1 piece missing! On another occasion a lady donated a bag of kiddies clothes her baby had grown out of- sounds very generous, but when it was tipped out every item was filthy- including dirty nappies!! Charity workers have a fine line to work to, making the most for the charity without offending donors. j@northwich

9:05pm Fri 13 Dec 13

L Byrne says...

First, as a fairly regular customer, I would like to say thanks to all of the staff in our local charity shops , most of whom are volunteers, for the excellent and valuable work that they do.

My other point is that there are some people who clearly do not understand the basic economics of how charity shops operate.

They are effectively small businesses who have to pay their expenses, such as rental costs, electricity, rates and insurance, before any cash surplus is spent for charitable purposes. Naturally, that puts pressure on them to satisfy their customer demands and to maximise the revenue they obtain from sales. Otherwise they do not survive and the charity loses the financial benefit.

Experience shows that customers want good quality clean and safe merchandise and are willing to pay for it. Quite simply, if the charity shop puts anything else on its shelves or in its window it does not find a buyer and, because it takes up space and has to be disposed of, it costs money.

The pressure is therefore on staff to take in only items that are saleable and meet quality requirements. Sometimes that can hurt the feelings of genuine donors which is understandable.

Finally, in my humble opinion, St Luke's Hospice is a much valued local institution in which we all can take a lot of pride. The income it derives from its shops is extremely important and I hope that the shop in Northwich will continue to provide good quality bargains to local people. I will certainly be popping in next week to see what they have got!
First, as a fairly regular customer, I would like to say thanks to all of the staff in our local charity shops , most of whom are volunteers, for the excellent and valuable work that they do. My other point is that there are some people who clearly do not understand the basic economics of how charity shops operate. They are effectively small businesses who have to pay their expenses, such as rental costs, electricity, rates and insurance, before any cash surplus is spent for charitable purposes. Naturally, that puts pressure on them to satisfy their customer demands and to maximise the revenue they obtain from sales. Otherwise they do not survive and the charity loses the financial benefit. Experience shows that customers want good quality clean and safe merchandise and are willing to pay for it. Quite simply, if the charity shop puts anything else on its shelves or in its window it does not find a buyer and, because it takes up space and has to be disposed of, it costs money. The pressure is therefore on staff to take in only items that are saleable and meet quality requirements. Sometimes that can hurt the feelings of genuine donors which is understandable. Finally, in my humble opinion, St Luke's Hospice is a much valued local institution in which we all can take a lot of pride. The income it derives from its shops is extremely important and I hope that the shop in Northwich will continue to provide good quality bargains to local people. I will certainly be popping in next week to see what they have got! L Byrne

9:29pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Ricky12 says...

To be honest it does sometimes appear that the charity shops think they are doing us a favour by taking away our things. My mum and dad had a table that my dad was going to chop up for their log burner.

I asked if I could give it to a charity shop in town that sells furniture. I went in and asked them if they wanted it. The reaction was that they were doing me a massive favour and that 'we cant get it today, we can only get it in three weeks'. They did and were selling it for £100. Im pleased about that, but the attitude of them wasnt great to say the least.
To be honest it does sometimes appear that the charity shops think they are doing us a favour by taking away our things. My mum and dad had a table that my dad was going to chop up for their log burner. I asked if I could give it to a charity shop in town that sells furniture. I went in and asked them if they wanted it. The reaction was that they were doing me a massive favour and that 'we cant get it today, we can only get it in three weeks'. They did and were selling it for £100. Im pleased about that, but the attitude of them wasnt great to say the least. Ricky12

10:20am Mon 16 Dec 13

MrT1976 says...

The problem I have with St Luke's is that, if I ring up with furniture that I want to donate, then don't tell me you are more than happy to accept it all only to turn up on the moving day and point blank refuse.

That isn't the way to do business and creates animosity towards a Charity that is a very good cause overall.
The problem I have with St Luke's is that, if I ring up with furniture that I want to donate, then don't tell me you are more than happy to accept it all only to turn up on the moving day and point blank refuse. That isn't the way to do business and creates animosity towards a Charity that is a very good cause overall. MrT1976

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