Fancy some pre-loved false teeth? Leeds charity shops report their quirky donations

A pair of false teeth, a giant replica Army tank, a £5.5k diamond ring and even items of an 'adult nature' - these are just some of the weird and wonderful things donated to charity shops in Leeds.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 11:45 am
A pair of false teeth was donated to Bramley's Mind shop. File image: PA

Staff at shops across the city have reported some quirky findings when trawling through bags of donations left on their doorsteps.

Most donated items are re-used, recycled or re-sold and loved again....unless shops feel the donor has perhaps gone a step too far.

That was the case when employees at Bramley's Mind shop found a pair of used false teeth last year.

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Back in 2015, the YEP featured the hunt for a man who donated his wife's wedding dress to St Gemma's Hospice's Garforth shop.

Denise Hancock, manager at the Bramley shop, said: "The teeth came in a bag with some bric-a-brac. I put my hand in the bag and pulled them out, realised what they were and threw though on the floor and screamed! I'm sorry, these went straight in the bin. That's definitely the funniest thing I've had."

But it seems the false teeth donation was not a one-off.

Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for West Yorkshire, said: "I'm sure most of our shops in Leeds have had false teeth donated. When you're dealing with house clearances, I think people just bag up everything."

She said other unusual items donated to their Leeds stores include a gold tooth in a bag of jewellery, a giant replica military tank which took three people to move and was sold on a specialist site for £2,500 and a diamond ring which was found to be worth £5.5k.

Karen Prudhoe, of Cancer Research UK's Leeds city centre shop, with the odd-sized Burberry boots.

Nicki added: "And of course, we get the odd special object or outfit that come under ‘adult items’, which never find their way onto the shop floor!"

One bizarre donation currently for sale at the charity's city centre shop, on Lands Lane, is a pair of designer boots - but each boot is a different size.

The Burberry black leather boots normally retail at £550 but the charity says it is open to offers from any interested YEP readers with odd sized feet.

"They are in fabulous condition, but we need the help of the YEP to find the one perfect, stylish, Leeds fashionista – who has a size three left foot and a size four-and-a-half right foot. Make us an offer!" Nicki said.

Back in 2015, a Leeds charity shop hit the headlines when a vintage wedding dress was anonymously donated with a heart-warming note about its previous owner.

Staff at St Gemma's Hospice's Garforth shop were touched to receive the 1950s gown donated by a man with a note about the "happy years" he spent with his bride.

It read: "I wish any lady who takes this dress to have a life with her loved one, 56 years, like I did. Happy years. I was a lucky man to marry a lady like mine."

The shop's online appeal to trace the donor went viral with hundreds of messages, likes and shares on social media from all over the world.

Hospice bosses did eventually track down the donor who wished to remain anonymous but was reportedly "thrilled" with the global reaction.

The dress went on to sell on eBay for £3,000.

Charity chiefs at Mind are keen to point out that while some items may get a laugh, every donation is important.

At Mind the average bag of donated items is worth around £30, raising vital money for a worthy cause.

Bramley manager Denise said: "We always need donations, so anything is appreciated, but please no false teeth."

Nicki Embleton agreed and said their staff and volunteers are trained to assess each item's value and select where would be the best places to sell, including specialist websites, auctions or a different shop in their network.

"Someone's trash can be someone else’s treasure and Cancer Research UK welcomes donations of all kinds of items, in good condition, that we offer in our stores across Leeds and surrounding areas to help raise money for research."