accessibility & help

Unique donation sails into Red Cross shop

Monday 20 September 2010

For further information please contact

Rebecca Heath:, 020 7877 7041

or Heron Holloway: / 0207 877 7520


Unique donation sails into Red Cross shop


The British Red Cross charity shop in Pontypool has been celebrating its good fortune after it received a once-in-a-lifetime donation worth almost £10,000.

“Whispers”, a 26-foot yacht donated by a regular Red Cross supporter, had been bought in the 1980’s and only ever made local journeys around Swansea, Bristol and Gloucester. The run-down vessel then languished at its moorings for over 15 years before being sold at auction in August for £9,650, with the proceeds going to the lucky Pontypool shop.

The generous donor, Mr Garry West, said:
“My yacht has been lying around for a while and as a regular donor to my local Red Cross shop, I thought, where better to give it to? It’s definitely the biggest donation I’ve made, and I was happy to be able to do it.

The British Red Cross welcome any donations, big and small, and it’s always worth keeping them in mind when you’re having a de-clutter; whether it’s your wardrobe or your yacht!”

Luckily, Andrew Downie, a British Red Cross volunteer and ex-skipper, was on hand to assist with the specialist aspects of the donation, helping to bring the yacht to auction.

Bob Daws, Retail Field Manager for Wiltshire, Avon and South Wales, said:
“It’s been the first time in my experience that we’ve received a donation as large or as unusual as a yacht. We’re delighted that Mr West thought of us, and it’s very fortuitous that we had volunteers with specialist knowledge to help. In addition to more extraordinary donations, everyday items such as clothing, discarded gifts, housewares, books and DVDs can all be sold to raise valuable income for the Red Cross.“

The yacht was sold at a closed auction, bought by a couple who want to refurbish the vessel and bring it back to its former glory.


Notes to editors
For more information, contact Rebecca Heath on 020 7877 7041 / or Heron Holloway on 020 7877 7520 / or visit

Our charity shops rely on donations from members of the public in order to raise valuable Red Cross funds to help vulnerable people in crisis in the UK and abroad.

The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers, both to help out in Red Cross shops or in a range of roles locally. To find out more, please ask at your local Red Cross shop or visit

The British 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.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.