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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sponsor Me!I think the days of charity shops being pokey little jumble sales staffed by clueless old ladies who don't know their Prada from their Primark, are long gone. I'm a regular disciple of the St Peter & St James Hospice shops ("... not just any charity shops!"), which are conveniently situated in four of the towns where I do clinics. They've been supplying Amelie with cheap cuddly toys for the past two years. Which is why there's no longer any space in her bedroom. Frankly I've donated so much money to that hospice, I think I'm single-handedly responsible for the rise in the pensioner population.

So I was in the Burgess Hill branch at lunchtime today, buying a new work shirt, and I witnessed a conversation between the shop manager and a bloke who'd popped in for advice from another charity shop nearby. Never mind clueless old codgers who can't work a till - this was like the final of The Apprentice crossed with an episode of Dragons Den. I haven't heard so much ingenious financial advice since Lisa told me to start buying Smart Price bin bags.

Obviously I'll take most of the secrets I heard to my grave (or my hospice at the very least), but I'll reveal one golden nugget of insider information here. Apparently the secret to raising substantial quantities of cash for a good cause is a website called China Search. It might sound like a communist version of Google, but it's actually a site where you can buy odd pieces of discontinued china plates, bowls and cups.

Apparently it's a common occurrence for people to donate incomplete dinner services or tea sets to charity shops. The high quality ones would be worth a fortune if complete, but the value takes a severe denting if not, or if one of the pieces is damaged. So rather than selling the incomplete set for, say, forty pounds, the charity goes straight onto China Search, buys the missing piece for a tenner, and then sells the complete set for a hundred and twenty. It's a genius idea, and I take my hat off to them. Or I would do if I wore one. I'm sticking to a balaclava until my moustache is gone.

On the subject of investing money in a worthwhile cause, tomorrow is the last day that you can vote for Amelie in the Argus Cute Kids competition. She's managed to avoid being booted out of the contest like Frankie Cocozza on the X Factor (although her behaviour's generally worse than his), so if you want to register your support for Brighton's other talent show wannabe with bad hair, the voting details are here.


Phil's Mum said...

I might have to vote one last time.  Don't expect any Christmas presents though.

Poirot said...

I secretly thought the moustache growing was simply a way to show off how many shirts you had!