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Don’t ditch it - shift it – Take unsuitable gifts to Barnardo’s

Release Date: 01 Jan 2018

It happens to most of us at Christmas. You put on your best delighted face as you unwrap a giant sized Christmas jumper, your third copy of the latest must-have recipe book or the leather-look leggings you know you will never, ever wear.

This year, rather than having to face the embarrassment of returning a set of bathroom scales or re-gifting that cook book, why not shift that gift to a Barnardo’s store near you, where it will instead raise money to support some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.  

A recent survey, of 1,500 people by Voucher, revealed that 31 per cent of adults have been insulted by a present, 13 per cent said they returned and swapped gifts they didn’t like and 18 per cent “re-gifted” them to someone else.

A poll of 4,459 adults, conducted on behalf of Barnardo's by YouGov Plc, found that the selfie stick is considered to be one of the least sought after present by 45 per cent of us, followed by musical socks at 43 per cent, bathroom scales at 34 per cent and a set of saucepans or animal slippers at 26 per cent.

Other research, surveying 2,0002 adults by Opinium Research on behalf of Triodos bank, has shown that UK adults receive up to £2.6billion worth of unwanted gifts at Christmas.

The worth of all of those unwanted or unsuitable gifts add up and could provide vital support for the children Barnardo’s helps. For example:

•One of your multiple £18 cookbooks could pay for three young carers to enjoy an afternoon of respite from their caring duties, giving them the chance to relax and meet other children.

•That £25 DVD boxset you’ve already got could help to pay for a case worker to give life-changing practical support and safety advice to a young person affected by sexual exploitation.

•The £50 too-big jumper could help pay for more than 5 hours of specialist support for young carers, giving them the advice and help they desperately need.

•£180 worth of unsuitable console games could help pay for a case worker to give life-changing practical support and safety advice to seven young people affected by sexual exploitation.

•The £250 television that doesn’t fit on your television stand could help pay for five young people to receive hope diaries and a specialist project worker’s time, to help them recover from the trauma of sexual exploitation.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

When you get a present that is unsuitable for you, or that you don’t like, it can be awkward as you may not know what to do with it.  

Instead of leaving them in the back of a cupboard, re-gifting or even throwing them away, why not donate these presents to Barnardo’s stores, as you really can make a difference to vulnerable children who need our support around the UK.

To find out more information about Barnardo’s work, how to donate or to find a store near you, please visit

Spread the word about your donation using #ShiftThatGift on social media.

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