Charity’s depot is a goldmine of collectibles and curios

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PUNK records, stuffed animals, Star Wars figures and even a motorbike; it’s all in a day’s work for a Gwent charity’s eBay guru Ian Hall.

Graphic designer, photographer and avid collector Ian, aged 41, admits he’s really in his element at the helm of St David’s Hospice Care’s Aladdin’s Cave of quirky collectibles.

The depot, at Cwmbran, holds hundreds of vintage and collectible items but not much hangs around for long once it’s had Ian’s once over.

Ian, from Newport, is in charge of checking and valuing all the items that are donated and then getting them online on eBay or Gumtree and sent off to their new owners.

Ian said: “It’s coming up to 12 months that I’ve been working for St David’s Hospice Care, although I’ve been a supporter of theirs for many years by entering their fundraising events and challenges.

“We have had a variety of interesting and potentially valuable items that have been donated to us in the time I’ve been working here. A few stand out items have been some mid century furniture and a motorbike.

“The most expensive sale to date has been a bundle of late 1970s punk records donated as one collection.

“Since working here, I like to think I have accumulated a fair knowledge of what is collectable but it tends to work one of two ways.

“If it’s something I recognise or have encountered in the past and have some knowledge about, then I’ll know if it’s worth selling through our department online.

“Alternatively, if it’s something I’m not sure about because I don’t recognise it but still catches my interest, then I’ll go on instinct and research it. This has worked very well on a number of items so far.”

With the constant influx of items, naturally, comes some weird and wonderful items that you may not find at regular charity shops.

Ian said: “We get lots of unusual and quirky items donated throughout our shops and donation depot, but the most unusual items we have received has to be a group of taxidermy pieces.”

New items arrive every day, so there is bound to be something for sale of interest to you, whatever that may be.

Ian said: “I’m interested in a number of different things, but coming from a design background, items that stand out for their design and aesthetics usually grab my attention. I’ve got a soft spot for vintage advertising pieces.

“The key parts to the role as e-commerce team leader are to recognise the really good items that get generously donated to us and maximise the money we can make by selling them online. Also rehousing these items and knowing they will be sent off to someone who will enjoy them is equally as rewarding.

“As a charity, the level of donations the public consistently make is amazing and reflects the levels of people’s generosity. I get items of interest sent to our department from our various shops, or I’ll take a look in person at our depot to see if anything stands out that will sell well online.”

Daniel Cromwell, head of retail, said: “Ian is an expert in these kind of things and we wanted to use his knowledge of collectibles so that we could raise as much money from selling these items as possible for the charity.

“Ian is very good at spotting what collectors are likely to want to purchase. We are hoping that this will continue to grow and become a dependable income stream for the charity.”

The depot is open for item viewing on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Donations can also be made.

The St David’s Hospice Care Depot shop is located next door to its Donation Depot which is at Unit 1, Block 1, Withey Court, Ty Coch Way, Cwmbran, NP44 7EZ.

For the online presence, on eBay or Gumtree, search ‘SDHC’ on either site to see all of the listed items for sale.


St David’s Hospice Care provides free community-based hospice care to people with cancer or any other life threatening illness living within Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and in South and Mid Powys.

Last year (2016-17) St David’s Hospice Care cared for 3,192 patients with 2,149 new patient referrals; 30 per cent with a non-cancer diagnosis.

It costs St David’s Hospice Care approximately £8m each year to provide their services, and less than 20 per cent of their funding is received from the statutory sector, the rest is made up from a number of factors including donations, sales at their shops, a weekly lottery and fundraising events.