Baby bank charity, Little Village, has released a list of some of the strangest donations received by baby banks across the UK.
The list includes the Kama Sutra, an ‘intimate tickler’ and a used perineum squirter. One baby bank received a ‘sexy Santa’ costume and another, a book about Harold Shipman.
Little Village has released the list to highlight the need for excellent quality donated items, saying most baby banks have a wish list of the items needed. Little Village is closed for donations of items over Christmas but will reopen again from 9th January 2023. It expects 2023 to be busier than previous years due to more families needing help during the cost-of-living crisis.
Baby banks provide essential items to families going through tough times, including items like buggies, cots, children’s clothing, toys and bedding. Most are reliant on pre-loved donations from their local communities.
Little Village surveyed baby banks across the country and has revealed a list of the weirdest list of donations received as follows:
Little Village CEO, Sophie Livingstone MBE, said:
“These items definitely raised a few eyebrows at our donation sessions! Quite why anyone would donate the Kama Sutra or a thong to a baby charity is beyond me.
“This list is a bit of fun, but it highlights a serious point – that it’s important to only donate the items that a baby bank actually needs. Most are small operations, often run by volunteers and they don’t have the time to sift through bags of dirty underwear and other bizarre items.
“Luckily, these weird donations are few and far between and I’d like to stress that the vast majority of items we receive excellent are quality and exactly what we’re looking for. We’re eternally grateful to all who donate their pre-loved children’s clothes and equipment.”
Danielle Fletcher-Horn, Founder of Aber Necessities in Aberdeen said:
“As a children’s charity supporting pregnant mums and children aged 0-18, we have had a number of questionable items donated that has left the team rather perplexed. From stilettoes, to a cravat and plus fours, we’ve seen a lot. We’ve even had a bag of actual rubbish handed in as part of a donation – and while we’re sure this wasn’t intentional it wasn’t pleasant for our volunteers. It takes a huge amount of time for our team to work through, sort and quality check our items to ensure the families we support get quality gifts.
“Our website outlines the items we accept, and we kindly ask that these are in excellent condition to enable our team to work efficiently so we can reach our families as quickly as possible. Our volunteers’ time is the most precious, and we’re eternally grateful for the time they dedicate to us.”
Laura Chaffer from Home-Start baby bank in Berkshire said:
“We had a bag full of broken toys, toys with pieces missing, bits of dried Playdoh, sweet wrappers and even dried up toast crusts. My guess is that they had tipped out the contents of a toy box into a bag and just decided to let us sort it out. There wasn’t a single usable thing in the bag.
“Donations like this take time to sort through and even more time to dispose of in the appropriate places. If the owner had just kept hold of the items that had missing pieces, they would have probably found them whilst sorting out the next toy box and it would have been a usable gift to someone.”
David Barker from Baby Aid Birmingham said:
“We have incredibly strict rules around what we accept and how it has to be delivered, and yet we still often get people looking to dump rubbish with us. Sometimes it’s broken toys, or they’ve accidentally put adult clothes in, but we’ve had pushchairs covered in mould, and the person donating not seeing there’s anything wrong with that.
“I hope the Ann Summers handcuffs were a mistake… but the bell that said ‘ring for beer’ still haunts me.”
If you live outside of London, there is a map of baby banks here.
Notes to editors
There are photos available of: the intimate tickler, perineum squirter, sexy santa costume, fake poo
For those wishing to donate money to Little Village, the fundraising page is here.
There are photos of some of the top ten weirdest items, please contact Emma Gibbs, Communications Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org
Other examples of weird donations included: