accessibility & help

Donate to our charity shops

Two shop volunteers dress a shop mannequin© InfoBritish Red Cross charity shops turn your donated items into cash to help people in crisis. Please give us your unwanted clothes so that we can help vulnerable people in the UK and abroad.

Why we need donations

How to donate

Donations we can accept

Donations we can’t accept

Gift Aid on stock

Donating to our refugee centre

Emergency appeals

Why we need donations

Our charity shops sell your donations to fund the work of the British Red Cross. The Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies – both in the UK and across the world.

How to donate

Drop items off at a Red Cross charity shop in your area. Please don’t leave donations outside the shop when we are closed as they could be stolen or ruined by the weather.

Please contact your nearest charity shop if you:

  • would like to arrange a house collection
  • are a company that would like to donate end-of-line, samples or surplus stock
  • have any particularly large items to donate that you are unable to bring yourself.

Give your local Red Cross charity shop a ring to see if a collection service is available in your area.

Big recycling sack scheme

Some areas operate a ‘Big recycling sack’ scheme. Our drivers will post a sack through your door for you to fill up at your convenience and will then collect it on the day stated. Alternatively you can collect a big recycling sack in-store to fill up and return. If you want to check if a Red Cross sack you’ve received is legitimate, have any questions or want more details, contact your local Red Cross charity shop.

Donations we can accept

All donations must be clean, useable and of saleable quality. If you wouldn’t buy it then we probably won’t be able to sell it! The better the quality of your items, the more money we can raise from their sale.

We are always looking for:

  • unwanted gifts
  • children’s clothing, toys and games
  • men’s and women’s clothing and shoes
  • books and multimedia like DVDs, CDs and vinyl
  • accessories, non-pierced jewellery, belts, handbags
  • bric a brac, crockery, glassware, bakeware, household linen and ornaments
  • any old clothes or textiles that are no longer useable can still raise money by being sold to textile merchants.

Some shops can accept second-hand furniture and electrical equipment.

Find out more about our specialty shops.

Donations we can’t accept

We cannot sell anything that it would be unsafe for you to buy – anything that is broken, dangerous, unhygienic, where its safety cannot be proven or it would be illegal for us to sell. Please do not bring these items to us as we will have to incur costs for their disposal.

In particular, we can’t accept:

  • medication, solvents, used dentures, jewellery for pierced body-parts, cosmetics and toiletries
  • mains or bottled gas appliances, microwaves, electric fires, petrol, oil or diesel-fuelled items, batteries, computer hard drives
  • mains electrical items (apart from our designated furniture and electrical shops)
  • food or drink, poisonous, toxic or hazardous substances, tobacco
  • four-wheeled scooters, wheelchairs, bicycles, wheeled chair conveyances such as prams
  • items containing ivory, bone, turtle and tortoise-shell
  • 18 certificate, counterfeit or homemade films and music
  • crash helmets, hard hats or protective headgear and clothes
  • toys, nightwear or upholstered furniture items that don’t have the relevant safety labels
  • used children’s shoes, clothing with drawstrings, repainted cots, walkers, safety gates, car seats or nursery furniture containing upholstery
  • firearms, ammunition, weapons or realistic toy weapons, knives, blades or objects that could be used as weapons

Please contact your local shop if you have any queries.

Prescription glasses

While we cannot sell prescription glasses, you can donate them to Vision Aid Overseas via your local optician.

Telephone: 01293 535 016 (Note: Vision Aid Overseas only accepts prescription glasses. If you have clothing or other items, please consider donating them to your nearest Red Cross charity shop)

Gift Aid on stock

Donating stock to one of our shops? Ask the team if you can Gift Aid it. Just fill out one simple declaration form and your stock donations can help the Red Cross help more people in need. Gift Aid makes every £1 worth £1.25. So for every £1 we sell an item for, we can claim back 25p from the government.

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) allows registered charities to claim back 25% of donations received from individual tax paying donors on the price of items sold. Full terms, conditions and HMRC requirements are available instore or are available to download on the right hand side.

Donating to our refugee centre

We accept donations of clothing, bedding, toys and household items at our Destitution Resource Centre in Hackney. We cannot except large items (i.e furniture) or electrical products.

Emergency appeals

In the event of an emergency appeal, we gratefully welcome cash donations. Unfortunately we cannot send any donated items abroad. Wherever possible we source necessary items from the affected region because local purchasing helps the region, reduces our transport costs and speeds up our delivery times. For this reason, the British Red Cross only accepts donated goods for resale in the UK, through our chain of charity shops.

Find your nearest Red Cross charity shop

Learn more about our charity shops

Become a charity shop volunteer

Recycle mobile phones and cartridges

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