Christmas horrors can be put to use

PUBLISHED: 10:27 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010

EVERYBODY has had them at one time or other - disappointing Christmas presents. But the quandary of what to do with them is being made easy this year. Sue Ryder Care, which has a centre at Stagenhoe Park near Whitwell, is staging an unwanted gifts amnesty

EVERYBODY has had them at one time or other - disappointing Christmas presents.

But the quandary of what to do with them is being made easy this year.

Sue Ryder Care, which has a centre at Stagenhoe Park near Whitwell, is staging an unwanted gifts amnesty.

The charity reckons that every year an estimated 15,000,000 presents - worth more than £400 million - do not quite hit the spot.

It is reminding people that they need not be stuck with the presents they wish Santa had left in Lapland.

Rather than leave them languishing in a drawer, Sue Ryder Care is urging people to turn them in.

The presents can be dropped off at any of the charity's 400 shops nationwide including those in Stevenage, Hitchin and Baldock.

The most donated unwanted gift to Sue Ryder Care shops is toiletries, followed closely by ornaments.

Dave Bennett, business manager for the area, said: "We are not encouraging people to be ungrateful but it is a fact of life that some of the gifts under the tree will be wide of the mark.

"The temptation is to squirrel them away. But these gifts can be converted into vital funds to enable us to continue to provide care that liberates lives.

"People can simply visit their nearest Sue Ryder Care shop and that comedy tie and matching socks can be nothing but a bad memory.

"By staging an amnesty we are providing a guilt-free environment in which to donate unwanted gifts. Your Auntie Ethel need never know."

The charity needs to raise £13m in voluntary contributions every year to continue to provide care at 17 centres.

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