Today’s Object of the Week is something a little different – and that’s putting it mildly.

WE all need toilet seats, but a used toilet seat? No one wants to buy that.

That’s what employees at the Guisborough Mind shop thought when a dirty toilet seat was donated to them last year.

This is just one of the weird and wonderful things donated to Mind charity shops last year, including a box of gravy, a see-through pair of trousers, and a unicycle.

Donated items are re-used, re-cycled or re-sold and loved again – usually.

Julie Messenger, Sunday Supervisor at the Guisborough Mind shop, said: “I can’t remember how the toilet seat came to us but we just had to throw it away because it was a bit grubby – I don’t think anyone would have wanted that.”

The Northern Echo: This pregnant doll was donated to the Mind shop in Alnwick, which also took delivery of a unicycleThis pregnant doll was donated to the Mind shop in Alnwick, which also took delivery of a unicycle

While these items might get a laugh, every donation to a Mind shop is important. Donations help prevent waste going to landfill, provide an eco-friendly option for shoppers, and raise money for mental health.

The average bag of donated items is worth around £30, and all the proceeds raised go to running Mind’s services, such as the Infoline which provides confidential information and advice.

The Mind shop in Guisborough is low on stock and looking for good quality clothes, books, bric-a-brac and electrics. They are particularly looking for linens: sheets, quilts, bedcovers.

These items will help the employees and volunteers serve the local community, while ensuring that Mind can keep helping the one in four of us who will experience a mental health problem this year.

Andrew Vale, director of Mind Retail, said: “We are so grateful that people across the country donate to Mind shops.

“We get an interesting mix of items, and while I am not sure what I would do with transparent trousers, we urge everyone to keep giving.

“Last year thousands of donations were made to our 167 Mind shops, allowing us to help over 118,000 people through our helplines.

“With your help we can reach more people this year, which goes a long way in supporting those of us with a mental health problem.”

Other weird and wonderful items that have been donated to Mind shops include:

* A pregnant doll, complete with a removable “bump” to reveal a hidden baby which can be taken out, and a stomach that flips to a flat for when the baby’s been born, donated to the Mind shop in Alnwick;

* A box of human ashes found in a jacket pocket by volunteers in Woking – and quickly returned to its owner;

* A book called ‘Hairy Hunks: A Celebration of Shaggy Stallions’, which flew off the shelves according to employees at the Bury St Edmunds shop

* A pair of nunchucks donated as part of a bag of toys, given to the Stoke-on-Trent shop. These were disposed of as they were deemed too dangerous to sell.

* A catheter bag and tube, donated to our Alvaston shop, and swiftly binned