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By Charlotte Cooper

Orange Box North East

Orange Box is a furniture collection and re-distribution charity which picks up your unwanted household items and recycles them back into the community. All items given to the charity will be resold at an affordable price. Donations from the general public help reduce the several tonnes of household land waste produced every year. Instead, Orange Box North East lowers carbon emissions and lowers waste disposal costs. 

What can you donate? Furniture such as sofas, suites, armchairs, tables, chairs, desks, cabinets, beds and bedroom furniture. They also welcome electrical items such as TVs, Hi-Fis, washing machines, cookers, fridges/freezers, microwaves etc. Orange Box offers a free pick-up service.

The People’s Kitchen

Since 1985, The People’s Kitchen has been supporting those living on the streets of Newcastle and disadvantaged families in the North East. The Newcastle city-based charity relies solely on volunteers to help prepare and cook meals for the homeless, as well as handing out care packages, including warm clothes. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday a team of volunteers cook and serve nutritious three-course meals hosted in the Alison Centre. A late-night supper is also operated on Monday and Thursday evenings, as well as breakfasts every Sunday morning. The charity estimates that it serves around 40,000 meals per year.

What can you donate? The People’s Kitchen is currently looking for men’s clothing donations such as jeans, joggers, hoodies, T-shirts, socks and waterproof coats. Other clothing items on their wish list include trainers, boxer shorts, sleeping bags and rucksacks. For toiletry items, the Kitchen is asking for donations of shampoo, shower gel, men’s and women’s deodorants and sanitary products. Desperately needed food items include tinned meats, cocoa powder and evaporated milk. 

Helping Pets North East

The mission of this charity is to rehabilitate and rehome stray and unwanted animals. Unfortunately, Helping Pets doesn’t currently have kennels or a cattery, so all animals taken in are placed into foster homes with one of the charity’s volunteers. The charity welcomes all breeds of cats, dogs and other domestic pets are rescued, providing a safe place for them to rest before a permanent home can is found.

What can you donate? Any folding indoor cages are welcomed if you no longer need them for your pet, as well as any cat litter and cat food. Unfortunately, dog food is currently not accepted due to a changing diet making dogs ill. Stair gates are also widely accepted by Helping Pets as well as cash donations which go towards specific dog food.

Emmaus North East

Emmaus is a charity that helps support people working their way out of homelessness and provides meaningful work, training and support for those in need. This charity also provides a stable home to further aid the transition from homelessness. Like Orange Box, Emmaus relies on public donations which allow them to resell or recycle donated items. Emmaus also offers a collection service covering areas including South Shields, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Durham, Northumberland and South Tyneside.

What can you donate? Emmaus accepts almost all household items with some exceptions such as soft furnishings without fire safety labels, baby equipment and objects in a non-sellable condition. 

Open Door North East

This Middlesbrough-based refugee charity provides a range of services supporting the wellbeing, livelihoods and integration of those seeking sanctuary in the UK. Covering areas of the region such as Tees Valley, County Durham and North Yorkshire, Open Door supports those left destitute, while also providing further services which help refugees rebuild their lives. The charity provides weekly food parcels for up to fifty individuals a week, providing basic food and essential items for those who cannot receive support elsewhere.

What can you donate? If possible, the charity asks donators to buy any extra items during their weekly food shop to donate to Open Door. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 10.00am – 4.00pm there is a yellow bucket where donations can be dropped off at the charity’s office at Melbourne House, Middlesbrough. 

Family Gateway

This award-winning charity is committed to using local volunteers to deliver enterprising community-led solutions to families, children, young people and communities in the North East to improve their life chances. Donations help provide a lifeline to families in the region who struggle to make-ends-meet or afford basic essentials.

What can you donate? The charity is in urgent need of clothing, toys and small household items. It welcomes unwanted Christmas presents too, with all donations going to the most disadvantaged families and young people. 

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