Dirty underwear, a giant broken trampoline and household rubbish - please take it to the tip urges charity shop at Littleport

Branching out, Littleport.

Branching out, Littleport. - Credit: Archant

A charity shop is urging people to think before they donate unwanted goods after forking out more than £3,000 to get rid of items that cannot be sold.

Branching out, Littleport.

Branching out, Littleport. - Credit: Archant

Top of the no hit-list are bags of dirty underwear, bags of household rubbish and broken items that really should have gone to the tip.

The worst broken goods culprit was a six foot trampoline with holes in it that was left outside the shop door at Branching Out in Littleport.

General manager Susan Wiggans said: “We have amazing donations from so many people who are incredibly generous but what is sad is when thing are brought to us that simply cannot be sold.

“We have three 1,000 litre bins that need collecting every week and in addition sometimes have to get a skip to take away items that cannot be sold.

“The shame about that is last year it cost us £3,174.35 on rubbish clearance which is money I would rather be spending on doing good for vulnerable adults who we support.”

In 13 years since it was opened the shop at Littleport and a second branch at Chatteris has raised almost £250,000 to support vulnerable adults - that is once all costs have been taken out such as rubbish clearance.

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Last year’s rubbish clearing bill could have paid for a post and rail fence surrounding the charity’s garden, she said.

“We in no way want to discourage donations or want people to think we are not grateful as we really are, but we would just urge people to think before dropping things off.”

Branching Out was formed by an initial working committee whose primary concern was to find a project that could provide work experience training for vulnerable adults as an alternative to the standard provision at that time.

By 1994 that project started to take shape and after much searching they founded the head office at Grange Lane in Littleport where they started to provide work experience to the first group of clients with learning disabilities.

They now offer a programme of varied activities for adults with learning disabilities and the community and also provide transport.

In 2003 the group opened its first charity shop in Littleport and in 2007 they opened a new building at the head office to provide a kitchen and dining area, a utility room, and more toilets.