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Taxidermied bison just one of many wacky donations made to Barnardo's stores

Release Date: 16 Nov 2017

You would expect to come across clothes, shoes and toys in a Barnardo’s charity shop – but not necessarily a real, adult-sized stuffed bison!

The taxidermied animal is one of many unusual and wacky donations given to the charity’s stores every year as revealed by the charity in support of #GivingTuesday, which is coordinated by Charities Aid Foundation.

‘Giving Tuesday’ takes place on November 28th and encourages people to do something good for others, such as donating to charity.

Another one of the weirder donations to Barnardo’s came from comedian Russell Howard, who donated a giant toast costume, while a suitcase containing a 6ft by 3ft detailed drawing of HMS Trafalgar, a Royal Navy nuclear submarine also made its way over Barnardo’s threshold.

The plans had been anonymously donated to the Barnardo’s store in Porthmadog in Gwynedd, Wales and were eventually bought for £320 at a silent auction by Tara Burke, the partner of Mark Rice, who had worked on the vessel for 25 years.

Other unusual donations received by Barnardo’s shops have included:

• An etching by artist Whistler, which was discovered by a volunteer in store in Scotland. It later sold for £600

• A jade necklace and bangle which was found in a store in Fife and later sold for £900

• A real World War II grenade in a bag of donated children’s toys, which the bomb squad made sure was safe

• A replica grenade in a different charity shop less than a year later

• A complete, full sized suit of armour

• A bishop’s mitre

• A 10-man canoe   

• Half a pound of liver, tins of dog food and jars of pickled onions

• A single lightbulb donated by an elderly lady who assured the charity there was “still plenty of life left in it!”

As well as donating wacky gifts you just don’t know what to do with,  Barnardo’s is also a great place to pick up the ideal present for loved ones.

The UK-wide stores have plenty of affordable gifts which can make perfect stocking fillers, including exclusive recently-reduced Teletubbies merchandise.

The range, includes cute Teletubbies headbands in the shape and colours of the popular television characters for just £3, floppy character pens for just £2.50 and sheets of stickers for just £1.

The profits from every item sold will help raise funds to help the charity continue its vital work to support hundreds of thousands of children, young people, parents and carers across the UK.

Barnardo’s director of retail and trading Roy Clark said:

We often marvel at some of the unusual donations that are handed in to us by our kind donors and are grateful for every single one!

Our stores could not raise the vital funds needed to fund Barnardo’s work with children, young people and families without the pre-loved items generously donated by the public.

So, weird, wacky, or just plain ordinary, please drop off your donations to your local Barnardo’s store and make a big difference!

The Christmas range is available in all Barnardo’s charity shops and online at

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