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What do a human skull, a Samurai sword and a toilet brush have in common?

The Cancer Research UK logo
by Cancer Research UK | News

2 February 2007

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They’ve all been donated to Cancer Research UK shops!


A human skull, Samurai sword and toilet brush are just some of the weird and wonderful items that have recently been donated to the Cancer Research UK shops. While most people stick to donating clothes, household items, games and books, some people prefer to donate slightly more unusual items. The charity’s shops have also been given a large box of condoms, a manuscript from the Phantom of the Opera, and a wedding photograph album with a note on it saying ‘divorce going through’!


It’s not just weird items that make it on to the charity’s shelves. A limited-edition Zandra Rhodes coat and Emanuel Ungaro dress are some of the most valuable items that have been donated to Cancer Research UK shops recently. The Zandra Rhodes coat, one of just two ever made, fetched £2,000 to go towards vital research into beating cancer. Other valuable items donated to the charity include a Miu Miu handbag and a Versace coat. Famous memorabilia also makes the shops treasure troves for collectors, as the Cobham branch discovered when a Chelsea training jacket, signed by John Terry, was donated.

This year, our stock generation campaign, ‘Donate for a Difference’, is taking place throughout February. Donations are crucial to the 600 Cancer Research UK shops to help fund further research into beating cancer. Last year, just over £66m of the charity’s income came from donations to the branches. Each bag of good quality items can be worth up to £30, so donating just two bags a month could raise in excess of £7,000 for Cancer Research UK over ten years.

Simon Ledsham, retail director at Cancer Research UK said: “Some bizarre items have been donated to Cancer Research UK shops, but we really do welcome anything that is good quality and can be resold. Donating isn’t only a great way to spring clean your house and recycle some of your old clothes, but it’s also a great way to support the charity and its work. In particular we’re looking for unwanted clothes, household items, games, CDs and DVDs. Each item, no matter how large or small, means more cash for us, and helps us get one step closer to beating cancer.”

For further information on donating or to find out where your nearest Cancer Research UK shop is, click here.