Humiliating...

Well i shant be bothering with Due Ryder charity any more…I had phoned and booked a furniture collection which incleded two arm chairs, one was the armchair my Ricjhard had died in ( heart blockage 11th Aprl )…I had told them over the phone when i booked after i was asked if they had the fire retardent label, i said yes both chairs…I had also mentioned the materia, the floral pattern and the colour, also mentioned they were only three years old but a tad grubby looking ( due to our dog we had laying over the arms, the person on the other end of the phone seemed ok with this information but when the two rather cold youngish van men came, one said straight away we wont take these, even when i was on the other end of the phone, when the lady phoned me back as i had to phone her to check on whether they wer coming as time was slipping by, they were still here taking out other furniture as i was talking to her over the phone telling her they are refusing to take the armchairs, they were new, just three years old, all they need is a cover over them, but no, he, one of the guys was not going to budge, so much for a giving furniture free to a charity, i know my Richard would be disgusted…

Anyway there are other worthy charities desperately needing good furniture, i have another coming tomorrow, i may let you know if they take them, and if so this will be the one i shall recommend…

Yes i even told the man that this was the armchair that my Richard had died in, the chair i have to look at now every day, he never batted an eyelid, the other man was more caring and did listen to me and my story…

Jackie…

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Hi Jackie I had a similar experience

Silverlady…( apolgies as i dont know your name )
…as my late father often would say to me…
" we live and learn…"
…yes we certainly do…
By the way, i am 68. lost my partner of 20 years, aged 74…I lost him the same date just four years apart from the date i was diagnosed with PP-MS…11th April…

Jackie…

Yes they had no compassion it was just a job to them…The main one came over as very cold, heartless and uncaring, he was blunt in telling me he wont take the two armchairs…I wont allow myself to be put through this again…a real total let down…He had even moved nine large plastic containers on Richards double bed so as to get to another piece of furniture, i told him if he can put them back on the floor afterwards as too heavy for me, they were all tucked inside each other, he heard me and replied but still they were left on Richards bed, I had to lift them off and back onto the floor after they had left, and i had already made it known to them that i have PP-Multiple Sclerosis, they could see how slowly i was moving…

Jackie…

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Now another charity, the one that Richard died of…they too will not take them, oh,they would have done if the armchairs had a batch number label, said if needed to trace…it didn’t matter to them that they had the fire labels attached to them… Two good armchairs that two charities dont want, this is believable…

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Hello Jackie-Richard, I am sorry to hear that you’ve had this experience with our furniture team. It sounds like this was understandably very upsetting for you. I have passed your feedback to our furniture collection team, who will investigate this incident further. Would you like them to get in touch with you directly to follow up? If so, would you be happy for me to pass on your email address so they can contact you?

Once again I am sorry that your encounter with our furniture team left you feeling this way. If you have any further feedback or would like to get in touch you can reach us by email at online.community@sueryder.org.

Take care,
Eleanor

Eleanor…
…i found the whole episode humiliating, the driver made it perfectly clear he was not taking the chairs…The driver was aware as he was leaving when he assumed i was on the phone talking to another charity when i told him it was actually Sue Ryder i had been talking to on the phone telling her the men are here now taking out the other furniture but he wont budge on the armchairs…
I had another charity come take a look this morning, yes the charity to which Richard died, and they too declined, they would have taken the chairs as they were but was looking for a batch number so they could be traced, so no batch number no chairs they would take…All this is just unbelievable when i am giving away a couple of free armchairs, well i have learned my lesson… surely a homeless person would welcome an armchair or a bed…

Not a very nice experience at all! Do you have someplace online where you could post them for free? We have a lot of those where I live. I sold our bed that way. Perhaps a homeless shelter, or safe house for women.
These type of complications are hard to deal with. They are just not what we need at this time as we are so vulnerable and trying to heal. I went through a couple of unpleasant experiences trying to get paperwork from the doctor. It just made everything seem so much more difficult and it stressed me. But then I realized/remembered that life is going to play out just the way it wants, and I have just let go and not get upset over the small stuff. People are going to be people, and the negative ones really aren’t worth my time or energy right now. Che taught me that…he became so forgiving of people his last few weeks…he’d look at me and gently say “That really doesn’t matter. Let it go…”

I thought these charities needed all the help and donations they can get, but obviously they are too fussy and are turning down items that would be welcomed, needed and used, and appreciated by the people using them…this is an eye opener for me, just how fussy they are in turning down items that could be put to good use…As they say…" everything happens for a reason…" i so feel for these desperate people who are needing a bed, an armchair, if they only knew how many are being turned down all because of a missing label…
Yes i shall be putting this behind me…just a lesson learnt…All this extra stress is playing havoc with my MS, i have already suffered a breakdown…but i shall eventually pull myself back…it is these harsh lessons that make me stronger, i will be that strong person again…
We had these place back home in Bedfordshire-Hertfordshire, we had used them before we moved, they took all manner of furniture and done the furniture up on their outside premises, then sold them inside…dont think Dorset has these places…if so i have not come across any yet online…

Hello Jackie, Once again, I am really sorry that the driver couldn’t take your chair, and that he spoke to you in an insensitive way.

Donated furniture is not given directly to people in need, it is sold in our shops, which then helps to raise money to fund our services (including our hospices, neurological care centres and this community). Like any shop, we do have to abide by Trading Standards and also consider what our customers will be willing to buy. If something is not in a condition to sell, then we will end up having to pay to have it disposed of, which does cost us money as a charity. This means that we do have to make sure that furniture meets certain criteria.

However, if they couldn’t take the items, the driver should still have told you this in a polite and sensitive way, especially given that you told him the chair’s connection to your Richard. I’m so sorry that this experience left you feeling humiliated and caused your MS to flare up.

I am going to pass this on to our furniture collection team so that they can feedback to drivers on communicating with donors, particularly those who are bereaved. It would be useful if they know which area you live in, so that they can speak to the right team - would you be able to email online.community@sueryder.org or private message me with your address, so that I can make sure this is passed on to your local furniture collection team? (Don’t post your address publicly on the forum, in order to protect your own privacy and security).

Priscilla
Community Manager

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I am just thankful i have been given this chance to publicly make it known to other members on our forum site that are thinking of donating furniture free to these charities of what they might be faced with,re, our now ( trading standards ) just how fussy they have become, how times have changed…I shall end this matter here thank you…I am confident i shall find a good home for my two armchairs and Richards double bed, i am sure someone will be more than happy to accept them…

Yes you are right, this was not the manner i was expecting from a charity collecting driver who was dealing with a not long bereaved customer… just no sensitivity, not compassion whatsoever…as i have mentioned, this has been a real eye opener for me…

Jackie…

Hi Priscilla, just reading about charities not taking certain items. I use the British Heart Foundation and they take everything as long as the fire retardent label is on the sofas. I have had problems with other charities too, but the British Heart Foundation are great. I had a large dining table made out of oak but it was badly damaged due to me spilling some nail glue all over it and trying to sandpaper it off, but they took it along with the chairs. They said it only needed a rub down, a stain and a coat of varnish.

Sheila.xx

Hi Jackie, I agree with you about charity shops becoming too fussy. I had a very similar thing happen to me after I lost Brian. He had so many clothes all in excellent condition, some never worn. Have no idea why he bought so much. I bagged it all up within weeks of losing him as all I could think about at the time was getting away from this house.
I contacted a charity and a collection was made. There was seven bags and two boxes along with Brian’s hardly worn suits and jackets. The man complained the whole time about there being so much. I had put it outside so he hardly had to carry it five metres. I helped him and he left me to carry the heavy boxes and lift them into the van. When I handed him Brian’s suits/jackets which were in their suit bags he screwed them up and slung them up to the back of the van like bags of rubbish. This so upset me as it was bad enough seeing it all go and he knew I had just lost my husband. Like you no compassion at all.
A few weeks ago I decided that our luggage could go as I would never go on holiday again. I contacted the local Hospice collection but the man refused to come and collect as there wasn’t enough to make it worth while. There was six matching, expensive cases of all shapes and sizes. He has to pass my road when he delivers to the local shop, but no, he wouldn’t call in. I contacted the local shop and a woman said she would come and collect but never turned up so I contacted another charity and they came straight away.
My settee in the dining room had to be removed when the hospice came with a bed for Brian in his final weeks. The settee was old but had been recovered and in pristine condition but because it had no fire label (it’s age) it had to go to the skip and they broke it here. Very upsetting. What a waste. The world has gone mad.
Last year we had a new washing machine and the delivery men moaned because they had to lift it over one step and down two to the kitchen. I wondered what they said to anyone that lived in a flat and had to go up one/two/three floors with no lift. I dread to think. Some charities do make you feel guilty when you take things into them. I have even been told “We don’t want any old rubbish”. I pointed out that I didn’t own “Any old rubbish” and what I offered was in excellent condition.
Perhaps the driver that you encountered was a volunteer but they still need to get rid, he’s not meant for that job.

Pat xxx

Sheila…
…the BHF was the second one who refused my two armchairs all because there was not a batch number label attached, although there was a fire label attached to them, they too would not take them, although they were ok with their condition and would have taken them…

Said they need the batch number to trace them…or if needed to trace them, what did they think they were stolen…

Oh dear, this was four years ago so perhaps they too have changed their protocol on what they want or don’t want. I am fed up of all the collection bags being put through my letter box and then no-one coming for the items. Perhaps now with plastic bags being banned they will stop bringing them. They come in handy for the pedal bin.

Sheila x

It was the BHF that I had trouble with when he moaned and threw things up the back of the van, however I did use them again with the luggage and they came out immediately. Here the BHF have chairs/settee’s cleaned before sale. It’s a lovely shop though. Jackie try another charity if there are any, what about the RSPCA they sell furniture. The reason for not taking your furniture seems ridiculous.
We don’t get many of those plastic bags now only ones from charities I’ve never heard of and they are suspect. I did try once but as you say Sheila, no one collected.
Pat

Dear Pat and Jackie,

I think the next lot that will go to charity will be my stuff when I pass away, they will need a removal van for all my clothes, bags, shoes and perfumes etc. My jewellery goes to our only granddaughter. Once I am gone I could not care less what they do with my furniture etc. but my memory box is something I do worry about as there is a lifetime of memories and photos of their dad and myself in a massive ottoman so I would like them to take care of that. When my brother in law died the year after Peter, his daughter got five skips and went through each room, not checking anything, they took out the drawers and they were just all emptied into the skips. It made me cry because my sister had died 26 years before and my brother in law had kept everything the same, even down to the china plates on the Welsh dresser , like I also still have in my kitchen. There must have been photos of her mum as a little girl with our mum and dad, but no, even the Royal Doulton China ornaments we used to collect in the 60’s went into the skip, it was heartbreaking.

I know it is silly to worry about things when we have gone, but to us it is our lives they are throwing in skips.

We have, I still cannot stop saying we, have been in our home since we married 52 years ago, and I still have the same pictures on the wall that Peter and I bought when we furnished our home together and they still don’t look out of place.

So many memories.

Love

Sheila.x

My Richard had - has a wooden wall barometer that he treasured from his mothers home, he lived with mother up until she died…This barometer came to our Bedfordshire house when we started up our " forever £ home together some 18 odd years ago, soon after we had gotten engaged…Well i still have his barometer and have sevarl times talked to Richard ( since his passing ) that i will be keeping it, it will be coming with me to wherever my next home will be as i know this barometer meant something to him, i belive it belonged to his mother and Richard had brought it to our home in Bedfordshire and to our home here in Dorset, he had placed it on his bedroom wall…I have promised Richard i will forever cherish it as i know what it meant to him, i shall never part with it although it has no interest to me…just that i know it meant a lot to him…

I have all Peter’s books right back to when I first met him, he brought them with him and they are still on the book shelf with all the books he bought afterwards. His Butlin’s Bognor Regis pin he got in 1964 just before we met. So many things I kept. I just gave his clothes to charity. He was an avid photographer of transport, and I gave thousands of photos to the relevant museums and he would have been so happy to know that people were buying them. I don’t know if it is our age group that puts so much store in things we bought together in the past, because our sons don’t seem to have the inclination, it is out with the old and in with the new. I have three different sized pictures of leopards on a white background in brass frames and they hang over the fireplace in the front lounge, we bought them together so many years ago. Our sons tell me to get some new ones, why? they mean the world to me and they look lovely over the fireplace which is a dark wood with brass fitting and they go together beautifully.

I have a grandmother clock on the wall which Peter bought me many years ago, I always wanted one but not a full sized one. Peter always wound it up but when he became ill I started doing it. The night Peter went into hospital for the last time and never came home again the clock had stopped. I wound it up but nothing happened. After Peter’s funeral I was going to take it to the clock repairers but a few days after the funeral our youngest son went to collect his dad’s ashes and when I came down the next morning the clock was going again and still keeps perfect time. So I call it Peter’s clock, it is dark wood with a pearlised face, brass numerals and pendulum. When I wind it up I say to Peter’s ashes, I am just winding your clock up love.

Such a heartbreaking existence we now live.

Love

Sheila.x

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