Reuse and recycle in Surrey
At Stripey Stork we’re passionate about reuse and recycling. We just love that the things that your family no longer need, can quite literally, transform the lives of another family. A cot that you have been tripping over in the garage for months gets donated to us and then becomes a safe, clean bed for a baby that has been co-sleeping with its parents by necessity rather than choice.
We do have a limit on the items we accept though, and there is a list on our website of what we can and can’t rehome.
Families get in touch offering us a variety of items so we’ve created this handy guide with suggestions of what you can do – just because we don’t need them doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t!
1. Mattresses – we do not rehome any used mattresses due to safety concerns and lack of space.
We have discovered B@titude in Leatherhead who are happy to take them as long as they have the space, and your donation meets UK safety regulations and is dirt/mould free. They are a wonderful secondhand shop, selling children’s clothes and equipment at very affordable prices so they are able to serve their local community. But they are more than just a shop! It is a real hub for the families which use it – the children have a chance to play, parents/carers have a social cuppa and they offer other family services and run projects from here, using the shop as a base. Please do get in touch with them before dropping off to check they have space, their contact details are 01372 374666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also the idea of repurposing an unwanted mattress for a child’s playroom, such as creating a cosy reading nook.
2. Car seats – we are unable to accept used car seats. We cannot guarantee to our recipients that a donated seat has not been involved in an accident and that it is completely safe to use.
B@titude in Leatherhead will take them, as long as they have space, your assurance that it is in good condition and has not been involved in an accident. Please do get in touch with them before dropping off to check they have space, their contact details are 01372 374666 or email email@example.com.
Or why not pass the seat you no longer need onto a friend or family member who has a child old enough to use it? As long as they’re happy to trust you that it’s not been in an accident, and it’s not too old or worn, then it should be fine for their bigger child.
If you have any car seats which have been involved in an accident, please take them to your local council recycling centre with the straps cut all the way through so they cannot be re-used.
3. Electrical items – we’re unable to accept used electrical items as we’re not resourced to safety (PAT) test them. In addition, many items like baby monitors start to deteriorate in performance after prolonged use and we don’t want to take a risk on items that families rely on.
DEBRA in Crawley specialise in refurbishing and selling good quality furniture and electrical items, and they offer a collection service. For more information, please call 01293 277212.
4. Bikes/scooters – we aren’t qualified to service them and to test brakes and gears. Bikes Revived repair and relocate unwanted bicycles with the aim of helping people from all walks of life get out on two wheels and for it to be an inclusive and empowering experience.
5. Wardrobes, chest of drawers, feeding chairs, changing tables – we don’t have the space to store them and often the families we are helping don’t have the space either. As an alternative for these large donations, Furnistore are a great charity based near to us on the Holmethorpe Trading Estate, Redhill. Items donated are shown a little love from volunteers, and sometimes completely upcycled, then made available at affordable prices, or at discounted prices for those on means tested benefits. You can contact them on 01737 773133.
If you’re in the wider Surrey area then please visit http://www.surreyreusenetwork.org.uk for more projects that may be closer to you.
6. Duvets/bedding sets for double beds, household crockery, pans, plates etc. As we focus on children and families, we don’t have a need for double bedding. YMCA Hillbrook House house up to 51 young people aged 16-30, and have a need for duvets, blankets, bedding as well as other essential items such as plates, kitchen equipment. Please call them before donating, they can be reached on their main number 01737 773089.
7. Maternity clothing, nursing bras or any adult clothing – our focus is on items for babies and children so we don’t stock these items.
National project Smalls For All collect nursing bras. More details of where to send them and how they are used are on their website.
Locally, there are a number of charity shops who will take these donations. If getting to them is an issue, British Heart Foundation offer a collection service for large donations, which can be booked by calling their main number 0800 128 6556.
- There are a large number of Facebook groups dedicated to buying, selling and giving away preloved items – and accessing a local one means you’re more likely to get a prompt collection
- Freecycle remains a popular way to trade items you no longer need
- An app called Olio which now allows you to pass on non-food items
- There are lots of suggestions including details of local clothes banks on this website.
At times we have to restrict the items we can take – the wish-list we publish monthly is a handy guide of what we need and what we don’t. If you have baby items and clothes to donate that we’re not currently accepting then here are some options:
- On our website, we’ve set up a map to show other baby banks in the UK and beyond. Maybe there is another group local to you that needs the items you have available?
- In the run up to Mother’s Day each year then retailers JoJo Maman Bebe and Mothercare collect baby clothes and shoes in their stores for their “From a Mother to Another” initiative and Gift a Bundle, working to reduce the amount of clothing waste going to landfill whilst helping families in need in UK and elsewhere.
But please keep checking our wish-list each month as just because we’re not accepting toys one month doesn’t mean that we won’t be the next month when we have been able to make space in our warehouse by responding to requests for help.
We’re always interested to hear of additional options for recycling or reuse. Please let us know of any other places you know and we’ll add them to this list!