At Stripey Stork we’re passionate about reusing and recycling. We just love it when 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.
Due to storage space and safety reasons, we do have limitations on the items we can accept. Here’s a list of what we can and can’t rehome. We’ve created this handy guide with suggestions of other places you can take your donations – just because we can’t take them, doesn’t mean they aren’t useful to someone else!
We can’t rehome any used mattresses due to safety concerns and lack of space.
We have discovered [email protected] in Leatherhead who are happy to take them as long as they have space at the time, and your donation meets UK safety regulations and is dirt/mould free. They are a wonderful secondhand shop serving their local community by selling children’s clothes and equipment at very affordable prices. But, they are more than just a shop! It is a real hub for the families that 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 [email protected].
There is also the idea of repurposing an unwanted mattress for a child’s playroom, such as creating a cosy reading nook.
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.
Why not pass the seat 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.
If you have a car seat which has been involved in an accident, please take it to your local council recycling centre with the straps cut all the way through so it cannot be reused.
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 which 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.
We don’t accept used bikes and scooters because we aren’t qualified to service them, and test brakes and gears.
Bikes Revived in Crawley repair and relocate unwanted bicycles with the aim of helping people from all walks of life get out on two wheels and be an inclusive and empowering experience.
Horley friends of St Catherine’s Hospice recycled bikes has a Facebook Page – they take old bikes, and service them to sell at reasonable prices, with all proceeds going towards St Catherine’s Hospice.
Wardrobes, chest of drawers, feeding chairs, changing tables
We don’t have the space to store these large items and often the families we are helping don’t have the space either.
As an alternative for these larger donations, Furnistore are a great charity based on the Holmethorpe Trading Estate, Merstham. 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.
There is a Surrey Revive shop in Earslwood, Leatherhead, Woking and Witley’s community recycling centres. They take unwanted items and sell them at very competitive prices, with 10% of their profits being donated to local charities voted for by shop users – Stripey Stork have previously been one of the charity beneficiaries.
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.
Locally, some charity shops may take these larger furniture donations. If getting to them is an issue, British Heart Foundation offer a collection service for such items, which can be booked via their website or by calling their main number 0800 128 6556.
Duvets/bedding for double beds, household crockery, pans, plates etc.
As we focus on children and families, we don’t have a need for double bedding and need to streamline our stock.
YMCA Hillbrook House accommodate up to 51 young people aged between 16-30, and have a need for duvets, blankets, bedding as well as other essential items such as plates, kitchen equipment. Please call them on 01737 773089 before donating.
Maternity clothing, nursing bras or any adult clothing
- There are a large number of Facebook groups dedicated to buying, selling and giving away pre-loved items – and accessing a local one means you’re more likely to get a prompt collection. A good example is Redhill & Reigate Parent Network Buy & Sell.
- Freecycle remains a popular way to trade items you no longer need.
- The Olio app which now allows you to pass on non-food items as well as surplus food.
- There are lots of suggestions including details of local clothes banks here.
Items not currently on our wish list
At times we have to restrict the items we can take – the wish list we publish monthly is a handy guide of what we currently 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 alternative options:
- On our website we have a map of other Other UK baby banks. Maybe there’s another group local to you that needs the items you have available?
- Local charity Their Voice, who support survivors of modern slavery, sometimes accept pre-loved donations, see their website for details on what they are currently accepting.
- In the run up to Mother’s Day each year, 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 into landfill whilst helping families in need.
But please keep checking our current wish list – just because we’re not accepting items one month, doesn’t mean that we won’t be the next. It’s always the pinned post on our blog, Facebook and Twitter.
We’re always interested to hear of additional options for recycling or reuse. Please let us know of any other places you know of and we’ll be happy to add them to the list!