The strange and unusual charity shop donations

A kermit the frog puppet from the 1970s (like this one) was one of the unusual items donated to charity
A kermit the frog puppet from the 1970s (like this one) was one of the unusual items donated to charity

A prosthetic leg, Kermit the Frog puppet and a Victoria Cross medal are among the most unusual items donated to charity, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) can reveal.

The top 10 list also includes a pair of canaries, a live ferret and a ventriloquist dummy.

Charities including Oxfam, Guide Dogs For The Blind and Cancer Research UK submitted items for inclusion. The donations have either been left at charity shops or bequeathed as legacies.

CAF works with more than 50,000 charities and helps 250,000 people give to good causes. One of the most unusual items donated via a CAF charitable account was a Central London townhouse.

Items donated to different charities include a Doulton Faience ceramic vase which was spotted by valuers working for Oxfam.

Known as a moon flask because of its shape it was given to one of the charity’s high street shops. The piece – dated circa 1890 – sold for £2400 at auction in June 2016.

It is estimated there are around 10,500 charity shops in the UK and Republic of Ireland which generate approximately £300m for good causes.

CAF research has found that more than nine in 10 people (88 per cent) have bought something from a charity shop suggesting Britain is a nation of charity shop lovers.

The CAF top 10 list of unusual items donated to charity includes: A sheep’s head (Sue Ryder), a prosthetic leg (Emmaus), a ventriloquist dummy (British Heart Foundation), a Victoria Cross medal (CAF), property (ranging from a townhouse in Central London to rural chocolate box cottages), a moon flask (Oxfam); a pair of canaries (Cancer Research UK, a live ferret (Blue Cross For Pets), a wedding dress used in an episode of Coronation Street (Guide Dogs For The Blind) and a Kermit the Frog puppet from the 1970s.

Joanna Walker, head of private clients at CAF, said it was interesting to see all the things which had been donated.

“People think about giving money, but it is fascinating to see all the surprising and strange items which have been donated to charities either via charity shops or bequeathed as legacies,” she said.

“Works of art and property can be hugely valuable to charities and provide enormous support for their work.

“The popularity of vintage chic means that one person’s junk may be a charity’s treasure and can be used again to provide vital resources for the causes we care about.”