Charity shop rescues priceless donation it binned

Charity shop rescues priceless donation it binned


Charity shops are well accustomed to receiving some donations which are fit for no purpose other than the bin, as was the case when a bereaved daughter hurriedly handed over items to the Samaritans in Sidmouth.

Tania Stewart-Davies, an optometrist from east London, was in Devon clearing a property after her mother sadly died last month.

She donated items ranging from everyday household objects to an original painting, and had to sort some items on the pavement outside the charity shop due to bad weather.

Among the donations was some damaged broken blue china crockery, but little did Tania know it had already been promised by her late mother to a mutual friend for use in an artwork.

The broken blue china crockery which will be turned into a commemorative piece for Tania Stewart-Davies’s late mother

Sarah Holliday, an amateur artist who lives in Sidmouth and works as a theatre assistant at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital, had a vision to turn it into a commemorative piece for Tania’s mother.

She is hoping to use the crockery either to be soldered into place surrounding a mirror, or to be cemented on to a stone to go in a garden.

When Tania released her mistake, volunteers at the charity shop searched through its dustbins and they were retrieved – despite it being four days since the donation.

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Tania, who works at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, said: “The staff at the shop were fantastic at what was a very difficult time for me. I had just cleared my mother’s flat, was parked on double yellow lines and had a lot of items to donate.

“It was pretty stressful but they greeted me with a big heart and a cup of tea. They were lovely. Then a few days later I found out the crockery had already been promised to my friend and then had to contact the Samaritans to explain.

“Thankfully it wasn’t too late. The volunteers at the shop had decided they couldn’t use the broken crockery anyway so had thrown it out, but they found the items in the dustbin.”

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The Samaritans charity shop in Sidmouth is run entirely by volunteers and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm. It’s a financial lifeline for the charity, which relies entirely on voluntary donations.

Mel Whittock, director of the Samaritans branch for Exeter, Mid & East Devon, said: “We’re delighted that our team went the extra mile – and dug through the bins – to help Tania and Sarah.”





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