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Live hand grenade among strangest donations to Ipswich charity shop

PUBLISHED: 17:17 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:17 23 November 2017

Ipswich's MIND charity shop reflect on their strangest donations as they appeal for people to bring in items on Giving Tuesday. Pictured is former manager Gill Debben in 2009 when a hand grenade was found. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich's MIND charity shop reflect on their strangest donations as they appeal for people to bring in items on Giving Tuesday. Pictured is former manager Gill Debben in 2009 when a hand grenade was found. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

A live hand grenade, a stuffed tarantula in a cage and a voodoo kit containing human hair are among the quirkiest donations to an Ipswich charity shop.

A live hand grenade was found in a box delivered to the Mind charity shop in Ipswich. Picture: PHIL MORLEYA live hand grenade was found in a box delivered to the Mind charity shop in Ipswich. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Bosses at mental health charity Mind have revealed an unusual list of items brought into their Westgate Street shop over the last few years as they appeal for people to donate on Giving Tuesday.

Set up in response to the rise of Black Friday, the annual day – hosted this year on November 28 – encourages people to consider supporting charities instead of splurging cash on cut-price shopping deals.

A first edition Lord of the Rings trilogy which sold for more than £3,000, realistic dolls that looked like human children and a cat were among the strangest donations to the charity’s Westgate Street shop.

Manager Richard Leeder said: “While we’re very grateful to everyone who donates to our shop, there are some items that are more welcome than others.

“Some of the more unusual items we receive, such as a box of hair, false teeth, and an accordion with a mysterious bag of a herb-like substance, are impossible or inappropriate to put on sale.

“Although the saying goes ‘It’s the thought that counts’, we have a much better chance of benefitting from donations when they are in good condition or high quality items.”

The bomb squad had to be called out to retrieve the hand grenade, which was delivered in a box containing a fan and other ordinary items a few years ago.

They closed off a section of the to destroy it, sparking chaos in the town centre.

Mr Leeder added: “If you have a more unusual item and are unsure whether it would be appropriate to donate it, do feel free to pop in and ask, as we’re very happy to advise.”

Research by Mind suggests one in four residents in Ipswich will experience a mental health problem this year.

Countless more will be affected through friends, family, work colleagues and other people in their lives, according to the mental health charity.

Unwanted items such as men’s and women’s clothing, handbags shoes, bric-a-brac, DVDs, CDs and LPs can help to raise substantial amounts of cash.

Each bag donated is worth an average of £30.

Discover more about Mind by visiting their website.

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