IT happens to most of us at Christmas. You put on your best delighted face as you unwrap a giant-sized Christmas jumper, your third copy of the latest must-have recipe book or the leather-look leggings you know you will never, ever wear.

This year, rather than having to face the embarrassment of returning a set of bathroom scales or re-gifting that cook book, why not shift that gift to one of the 36 Barnardo’s stores in London, including four in Hillingdon borough.

It will instead raise money to support some of the most vulnerable children in the UK. 

A recent survey revealed that 31 per cent of adults have been insulted by a present, 13 per cent said they returned and swapped gifts they didn’t like and 18 per cent “re-gifted” them to someone else.

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A poll found that the selfie stick is considered to be one of the least sought after presents by 45 per cent of us, followed by musical socks at 43 per cent, bathroom scales at 34 per cent and a set of saucepans or animal slippers at 26 per cent,

  • One of your £18 cookbooks could pay for three young carers to enjoy an afternoon of respite from their duties
  • That £25 DVD boxset you’ve already got could help to pay for a case worker to give life-changing practical support and safety advice to a young person affected by sexual exploitation
  • The £50 too-big jumper could help pay for more than five hours of specialist support for young carers
  • £180 worth of unsuitable console games could help pay for a case worker to give life-changing practical support and safety advice to seven young people affected by sexual exploitation.
  • The £250 television that doesn’t fit on your TV stand could help pay for five young people to receive hope diaries and a specialist project worker’s time, to help them recover from the trauma of sexual exploitation.

To find out more information about Barnardo’s work, how to donate or to find a store near you, please visit

In Hillingdon, the shops are at 145-147 Ruislip High Street; 172 Field End Road, Eastcote; 33 Green Lane, Northwood; Units 5 & 6, 92-104 Yiewsley High Street.