Mulberry coats, Salomon ski boots and a drinks globe donated to St Elizabeth Hospice shop
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Decluttering can be therapeutic but it can also be lucrative for charities such as St Elizabeth Hospice who benefit from our cast offs.
There are a wealth of treasures currently being unpacked at their new retail centre at Martlesham, due to open on Friday, March 24. Patrick Otter, retail area manager, and Jemma Wood, volunteer business partner, delved through the donations to share some of their highlights.
1 Telescope - Expected to cause a stir, a large telescope will be up for sale on opening day and could fetch a fair amount for the hospice charity. “Some people are just having a clear out and bring us items that end up being of great value,” said Patrick. “Others know the value of the item but donate it to us because they know where the funds are going.”
2 English Lady 1970s dress - The brightly coloured, vintage maxi dress is bound to catch the eye of a savvy shopper early on. And Jemma believes it will sell for around £50.
3 Alan Carr style drinks globe - You either love or loathe these quirky pieces, recently made famous by the celebrity chat show host. This one was collected by the furniture department, who do house collections on request.
4 Type B3 Bomber Jacket - This replica sheepskin jacket could sell for as much as £1,000, according to store manager Agi Ankner. She has researched the jacket online and found similar items carrying the exact same labels selling for four figure sums on eBay.
5 FA Cup final programme from 1978 - The face value of this original programme, in mint condition, from the day Ipswich Town beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final, is just 50p. However, a collector is expected to snap up the item for a much greater sum, generating a healthy profit for the charity.
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6 Salomon ski boots and an assortment of skis - There might be a shortage of mountains in Suffolk but there are clearly a number of enthusiastic skiers judging by the pile of assorted ski wear donated to the centre. The centre attracts bulkier donations because donors can pull up right by the door. Part of the centre has been set aside as a storage unit and from there items will be dispatched to 13 of the charity’s 27 stores across Suffolk.
7 Camping chairs and tents - A steady stream of camping equipment has already been dropped off at the site, but most will not be on sale at the retail centre. Instead, it is stored away until the start of festival season. “We work with Latitude and FolkEast and have stalls at both, we take tents and roll mats and chairs up and sell them on the first day to people who get there and realise they have forgotten something,” said Patrick.
8 Mulberry coat - Identifying designer items and verifying their authenticity is a key role of a shop manager, and this is the real thing. Agi said: “We check the labels and look online but also we look at the quality, with this you can tell that this is a good quality, expensive coat.” The item will be up for sale for £50 as a special opening offer, although at other times it may be priced a little higher.
9 First edition of an Enid Blyton title - the book was unearthed by volunteers as they stocked the vast bookshelves at the new unit. First editions are always extremely popular and with Blyton’s connections with East Anglia this could be of particular interest to a shopper in this area.
The team are still looking for volunteers to help them run the new centre. Jemma said: “We need volunteers to help with all aspects of running this new centre from working on the tills to van drivers. If anyone has an eye for antiques and collectables we could certainly make use of their skills.”
To find out more about volunteering, visit the charity’s website.